Accountancy firms support social mobility push

By Andrew Harbison, CA Today

28 March 2016

Some of the UK's top accountancy firms are backing a new government scheme to measure socio-economic diversity in the workplace.

KPMG, EY, Deloitte and Grant Thornton are among employers supporting the new measurement announced by Minister for Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, Matt Hancock.

Speaking at a careers event in London, Matt said,

"Our goal is simple: to make sure everyone has the opportunity to succeed and make the most of their talents, whatever the circumstances of their birth. It’s time to tackle the last workplace taboo – social mobility."

The national standard, which is the first of its kind in the UK, will be implemented to measure and manage social mobility in both the Civil Service and private sector.

What is social mobility?

Social mobility is generally seen as the opportunity for individuals from a disadvantaged background to move upwards in status within wealth, education and/or employment. Those involved in the inception of the new national standard want to ensure, much like the notion of equality, that the same opportunities are presented to all of their employees, regardless of social standing and background.

"We are absolutely delighted that the Cabinet Office, in partnership with the Bridge Group, are consulting the business community to develop a standardised national set of measures for employers to assess socio-economic background," said Melanie Richards, Vice Chairman at KPMG.

"For a number of years we have been working with the Bridge Group who have rigorously analysed our data to understand the effect socio-economic status can have on the recruitment pipeline…"

KPMG and EY have both been recognised by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) as social mobility champions. A total of 11 companies have received the government recognised standard, which requires them to display how they are developing social mobility measures within their organisations.

Earlier this month, Deloitte announced that it would begin publishing data on the socio-economic and educational background of its partners and employees to improve transparency and eliminate social mobility 'barriers'.

The new measures, which are set to come into force in the next 12 months, take a look at various aspects of an employee's social background. This could be anything from what postcode an individual lived in at the age of 14, to whether they received free school meals, and can be found in the Civil Service's Talent Action Plan.


  • Business
  • Accountancy

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