Skip to main content

Workforce Race Equality Standard

What is the Workforce Race Equality Standard?

The WRES is a tool which will be used to capture evidence of the workforce experience at a national and organisational level. It will enable workforce data to be consistently scrutinised against common indicators grouped under four domains,

  • Leadership & Progression,
  • CPD & Training;
  • Discipline & Capability;
  • Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination.

It will highlight where there are disparities in the experience of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic health and social care staff. By doing this it will support organisations to implement targeted action to address systemic issues to improve the experiences of the Ethnic Minority workforce. Improving workforce experience for Ethnic Minority staff will improve the experience of all staff, and in turn that will improve patient and public outcomes, supporting the quadruple aims of A Healthier Wales: Our Plan for Health and Social Care.

Why do we need a Workforce Race Equality Standard in Wales?

The concept of introducing a Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) for Health and Social care in Wales was proposed during 2021 as part of the Welsh Government’s consultation on the Race Equality Action Plan: An Anti- racist Wales (REAP) in order to address historic poor workforce data on racial disparities. During the consultation issues were raised by NHS Wales and social care staff including:

  • Recruitment and promotion processes that are often discriminatory toward ethnic minority groups.
  • Barriers to ethnic minority staff progressing into leadership and lack of representation in leadership.
  • Unacceptable racist language and harassment going unchallenged.
  • Ethnic minority staff being more likely to have formal complaints and disciplinary processes against them in comparison to white colleagues.
  • Higher proportion of ethnic minority staff reporting bullying harassment or racial abuse.
  • Lack of confidence in addressing racism/ racist practice by all staff and service users with action not being taken when complaints are made.
  • Staff not feeling safe to speak up against racist discrimination and practices.
  •  Staff not feeling safe and confident to provide ethnicity data.
  • Race related incidents not recorded.
  • Lack of structured audit in organisations of experiences of discrimination.
  • Lack of clarity about responsibility and accountability for advancing workforce race equality.
  • Lack of appropriate anti-racist mandatory training.

Following consultation, the REAP was renamed The Anti-racist Wales Action Plan (ArWAP) and published in June 2022. The development of the WRES for Health and Social Care is a key priority action in the (ArWAP) and will catalyse successful delivery of the Health and Social Care Goals across the plan.

Development of the Workforce Race Equality Standard for Wales  

A scoping exercise was conducted in social partnership in April 2022, to agree the workforce reporting requirements to measure progress in race equality across Primary, Secondary and Social Care and identify data to catalyse systemic, organisational level change.

When implemented, data in relation to ethnicity and gender related disadvantage will be routinely collated, shared and used transparently, to level inequalities in health and access to health services, and provide assurance that the NHS Wales is an anti-racist and safe environment for staff and patients.

The WRES will be a means by which to measure the impact of wider actions in the Anti-racist Wales Action Plan to ensure Wales is an anti-racist nation by 2030.

Branding for the WRES