In this page
Title of paper
Anti-Racist Action Plan for Wales
Purpose of paper
To enable a discussion on embedding an anti-racist approach in Welsh Government following the publication of the Anti-Racist Action Plan for Wales
Action required by the Board
The Board is asked to consider how it will inform – and hold to account – Welsh Government’s approach to embedding anti-racism in the operation of Welsh Government
Official presenting the paper
Paper prepared by / cleared by
There has been no specific Trade Union engagement on this paper
Date submitted to Secretariat
10 June 2022
1.1 The Board considered an update on the Anti-Racist Wales Action Plan (formerly the Race Equality Action Plan) at its meetings on 12 November and 15 December 2022 and discussed how an anti-racist approach could be more effectively embedded in the work of the Welsh Government particularly in relation to leadership.
1.2 This paper provides links to the final, published Action Plan and the shorter, Introduction to the Action Plan and invites the Board’s reflections on its role in supporting effective implementation.
2. Issues for consideration
2.1 The broad final Anti-Racist Wales Action Plan can be found at: Anti-Racist Wales Action Plan and the shorter, Introduction to the Anti-Racist Wales Action Plan, which provides a good overview of its purpose and scale of intention is at: An introduction to an Anti-racist Wales
2.2 The final Action Plan has been substantively revised from the consultation version. The shift from ‘race equality’ to ‘anti-racism’ is deliberate reflecting the views from the consultation and co-design process and a recognition that a much more proactive, sustained effort is required to effect change. That change needs to take place at a fundamental, system level across all aspects of public services and society.
2.3 The Action Plan on its own will not affect such a shift but it is intended as a catalyst for change – not just through the effective implementation of the actions it contains but by prompting wider reflection and action to address how our systems operate for different groups. In addition, through its accountability structures, it will ensure an ongoing profile and energy towards making progress and a means to substantially increase transparency about how we are going about securing greater equity in outcomes and experiences of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people.
2.4 The Action Plan is intentionally challenging in tone, scope and ambition. It could, of course, be more radical and the actions it contains are on a spectrum from things to promote race equality through to more fundamentally anti-racist action. They also represent a starting point for action – or next step where there has already been action – and will need to be built on and extended over time.
2.1 The Board are asked to consider:
- Their appetite to advise on and challenge progress on embedding anti-racism in Welsh Government
- The scale of change this implies for Welsh Government and the wider public service and priorities for immediate action
- The type of reporting the Board would find helpful in considering progress
- The support or development the Board might require to enable it to discharge this responsibility effectively
3. Resource implications
3.1 There are financial implications for the implementation of the Anti-Racist Wales Action Plan. The budget allocations which have been made do not enable all the work we had planned to be undertaken to the timeline we had originally intended. Planned work has been re-profiled to reflect the available budget. The specific business case to ring-fenced DRC funding of just under £1.5m for staff to enable delivery of the Action Plan in various teams across Welsh Government was agreed in part – recruitment could proceed but the funding would need to be a mix of DRC and programme. The Minister for Social Justice has recently agreed programme funding for a number of roles.
Implications for staff
3.2 Embedding an anti-racist approach in Welsh Government should have a positive impact on the experience of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff in Welsh Government. Addressing systems and processes so they are more transparent, fairer and lead to equity in outcomes will benefit other groups.
3.3 Welsh Government Trade Unions have not been engaged directly in the development of the Anti Racist Wales Plan but Wales TUC have been a member of the Steering Group. Welsh Government Trade Unions are engaged directly in the development and implementation of actions in the plan related to our HR processes and the wider ‘leadership’ section of the Plan.
4. Key risks
4.1 The key risks associated with the implementation of the Anti-Racist Wales Plan and embedding an anti-racist approach are:
- Lack of staff (with relevant expertise and credibility) and lack of programme resources to lead the work and support securing change in Welsh Government and more widely
- Lack of appetite, capacity and capability to implement an anti-racist approach
- Losing the confidence of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people who have co-constructed the plan that we are serious about achieving our anti-racist vision and being held to account for our effectiveness in doing so
- Not sustaining the profile and energy necessary to secure the behavioural and cultural change needed
5.1 There is an ongoing programme of engagement with staff in Welsh Government in relation to anti-racism.
6. General compliance issues
6.1 There are no specific compliance issues to highlight but embedding an anti-racist approach will make an important contribution to the Welsh Government’s compliance with the Public Sector Equality duty and the requirements of the Equality Act and the Well-being of Future Generations Act.
7.1 The Board is asked to consider the leadership implications of adopting an anti-racist approach in Welsh Government.
This paper (including Annexes) should be published in full as none of the exemptions in the Code of Practice on Public Access to Information apply.