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Immigration staff report rising discrimination at Home Office

Immigration staff are seeing rising levels of discrimination in the workplace, an internal survey has revealed. Employees at the Border Force and Immigration Enforcement, the Home Office body whose targets for “illegal immigration” removals were at the centre of the Windrush scandal, said they face increasing discrimination from colleagues. The findings raise questions about a failure to address ongoing problems within the department, highlighted by a damning parliamentary report in March. The recent survey of civil servants found that one in five immigration enforcement employees had “personally experienced discrimination at work”, the worst score out of all the UK’s government agencies and departments. The Border Force, which is directly responsible for 140 of the UK and western Europe’s immigration and customs ports, also recorded the worst score for “respecting individual differences”. Four in 10 employees did not agree that the agency is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace. A Home Office spokesperson said: “We value all of our staff who work tirelessly to serve the public and keep them safe, and their wellbeing is our priority.”The survey measures staff opinion in around 100 public agencies, with approximately 300,000 employees taking part.Labour MP for Greenwich and Woolwich, Matthew Pennycook, said: “It is deeply alarming that more than one in five immigration staff have personally witnessed discrimination and harassment at work during the course of the last year. If this is what those who work in these sensitive agencies routinely experience, what chance is there for the often vulnerable people they are employed to serve. “Ministers must act not only to protect those who work in these sensitive agencies but to fundamentally overhaul our immigration system so those using it can have confidence that it is effective, humane and just.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

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