Political News Updates

13.05.2014

Thameside Prison

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many grievances on the grounds of race discrimination have been made in HM Prison Thameside in the last three years; what the nature was of each such grievance; when each grievance was made and resolved; and what the outcome was in each case; [198085]
(2) how many employment tribunal cases were presented on the grounds of race discrimination in HM Prison Thameside in the last three years; what the nature was of each complaint; when each such tribunal began and ended; what the outcome was in each such case; and what the cost to the public purse was of defending such cases. [198086]

Jeremy Wright: The Government is committed to ensuring equality throughout the criminal justice system. Internal complaints procedures and the employment tribunal system enable any allegations of racial discrimination in the workplace to be thoroughly investigated.
Two staff grievances alleging discrimination have been submitted at HMP Thameside in the last three years.

The first, which alleged bullying at work, racial discrimination, unfair treatment and victimisation, was received in 12 October 2012. It was considered by the Employment Tribunal at two hearings (October 2013 and in December 2013). The Tribunal dismissed the claim in its entirety in January 2014.

The second grievance, alleging unfair dismissal, racial discrimination, victimisation and harassment, was received in March 2013. It is currently being considered by the Employment Tribunal.

Liability for any legal costs in relation to employment cases would fall on the employer.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether any (a) internal and (b) external reports were commissioned by Serco in relation to any steps taken by HM Prison Thameside to eliminate race discrimination in the workplace. [198094]
Jeremy Wright: The Government is committed to ensuring equality throughout the criminal justice system. Internal complaints procedures and the employment tribunal system enable any allegations of racial discrimination in the workplace to be thoroughly investigated.

The Ministry of Justice conducted a routine assurance audit of HMP Thameside in 2013.
Any internal document prepared by the contractor in relation to potential litigation is legally privileged and therefore exempt from disclosure.