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Cabinet Office to tackle ‘last workplace taboo’ with class diversity measures

Employees’ social and economic family background could be subject to scrutiny in a bid to make workplaces more diverse, under new measures proposed by the Cabinet Office.

The government has opened a consultation on how to measure socio-economic background in the same way as existing diversity factors, such as race and gender, as part of ongoing Civil Service efforts to become a more inclusive employer.

The proposed measures include an individual’s parents’ job, qualifications or income, the area they live in and the school they attended.

Matt Hancock MP, minister for the Cabinet Office and paymaster general, said: “Social justice is at the heart of everything this one nation government is trying to achieve. Our goal is simple: to make sure everyone has the opportunity to succeed and make the most of their talents, whatever the circumstances of their birth.

“We are tackling the last workplace taboo. We British don’t always like to discuss things like our parents’ background, particularly at work. But you can’t manage what you can’t measure.

“We are determined to lead the way, which is why we are working with major employers to develop a national measure for social mobility so we can take action and break down barriers to employment.”

The measures were developed with employers including Deloitte, O2, Teach First and the Bank of England as well as academics, the Social Mobility Commission and the Sutton Trust.

The Cabinet Office will implement them during the next year before encouraging other employers to adopt them.

The consultation on the proposed measures is open until 24 June. To take part, click here.

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