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Public Sector Staff

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 22 September 2020

Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Questions (278)

Mick Barry


278. Deputy Mick Barry asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the number and percentage of civil servants that are from Traveller, Black Irish and non-Irish citizen backgrounds; his plans to increase diversity in the civil service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24754/20]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

Civil Service employers do not currently request ethnic background information from civil servants on assignment and such data is, therefore, not available at present.

The Civil Service is strongly committed to equality of opportunity for all in terms of its recruitment and employment practices. Our Commitment is demonstrated and documented with key actions in People Strategy for the Civil Service 2017-2020 and Our Public Service 2020, both of which are to be renewed from 2021.

There are many excellent examples across the Civil Service, and broader Public Service, where positive action has been taken to promote and increase the recruitment of staff from all backgrounds at all levels. As the Deputy will be aware, the Public Appointments Services (PAS), which is an agency under the aegis of my Department, substantially coordinates recruitment to Civil Service posts. PAS is committed to ensuring that there is a concerted focus on attracting a range of talented people from all backgrounds to Civil and Public Service roles. PAS has a Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee in place with both employer representatives and external experts in diversity and inclusion and work closely with officials in my Department.

In the Civil Service, in line with Action 18 in the People Strategy for the Civil Service 2017-2020, my department has established a working group to review and revise the Civil Service policy related to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) which applies to all Civil Service employers, most of which are at different stages on their ED&I journey.

Employee demographic data is recognised as being critical to both baselining, evaluating and reporting progress in further embedding ED&I initiatives across the Civil Service. An action of the Working Group is to explore how aggregate ED&I data might be captured to a common data standard by all Civil Service bodies, adopting best practice while being particularly mindful of data protection and other statutory obligations. It is expected that Equality, Diversity and Inclusion will continue to be a core component of future Civil Service Renewal and People Strategies that are currently being developed for implementation from 2021, ensuring that we continue to build a Civil Service that is reflective of the modern Ireland that we serve.