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Equality and Diversity report 2018-2019

SFO Workforce Diversity Data for 2018-19


The SFO is required under Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 (the Public sector Equality Duty) and the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) Regulations 2011 to publish information that demonstrates our compliance with the general equality duty with regard to age, disability, ethnicity and gender.  In addition to these statutory categories, we also monitor our workforce with regard to religious belief, sexual orientation, and part-time working.

Structure of the report

This document provides summary profiles of our workforce by ethnicity, gender, religious belief, age, sexual orientation, disability and part-time workers as at 31 March 2019.

It also shows the diversity of our workforce in key areas within a typical employment cycle covering the 12 months between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019.  The elements of the typical employment cycle for which workforce diversity data is provided are:

  • Promotions
  • Temporary promotions
  • Appointments
  • Exits
  • Annual Bonuses
  • In Year Bonuses

In publishing Diversity data, the SFO is mindful of the need to ensure that we comply with ONS guidelines and Civil Service best practice guidance on the monitoring of equality and diversity in employment.  These guidelines prevent us from publishing any data which runs the risk of disclosing an individual’s personal sensitive information.  This is defined as any data where the numbers are less than 5.

The data is therefore presented as percentages to ensure that publication does not run the risk of disclosing an individual’s personal sensitive information.  By publishing the data in percentage terms we are able to make comparisons in relation to all the areas covered, between the proportion of each demographic in the total workforce and the proportion being promoted and rewarded.  For example, our data shows that staff declaring themselves as BME make up 17% of the total SFO workforce and that 18%of those receiving an Annual Bonus were from a BME background.

Declaration Rates

We ask all our employees to use our on-line self-service HR system to tell us their disability status, their ethnicity, their religion or belief and their sexual orientation.  For each of these areas they have the option of ‘Prefer not to say’.  This option is combined with blank fields and are shown as Not known in the charts.  As at 31 March 2019, the percentage of Unknown data ranged between 32% - 35% of the total.  This is an improvement on previous years due in part to an exercise to improve the voluntary declaration rate that was undertaken in Nov 2018.

The SFO recognises the need to increase employee diversity declarations and we have an ongoing campaign to raise awareness amongst employees, including messages supported by our Board level Diversity Champions.


A set of pie charts are attached to this report to help illustrate the following points.


The percentage of declared BME staff now stands at 17% - an increase on previous years, which is partly down to an improvement of recorded data (now 33% unknown) but also higher numbers is all categories.  The figure now compares well with the UK civil service figure of 12.7%[1] (which also has 22% not declared/reported).  15% of new starters to the SFO declared a BME ethnicity, although 43% remain unknown (a significant improvement on the 73% that remained unknown from the 2017/2018 starters).   BME staff received 16% of in-year bonuses and 25% of BAME staff received an Outstanding assessment, which is higher than the workforce figure.  Statistically BME staff were slightly less likely to receive a Temporary Promotion (11%), but equally as likely to be permanently promoted (17%).


The percentage of Female staff in the SFO workforce stands at 46%, which is similar to previous years.  This remains below the UK civil service figures which has stayed at 54% (but 58% of our new starters were female).   However, the percentage of female UK civil servants who work full time is 46%, which is the same as the SFO figure (91% of SFO staff are full-time).  25% of Female staff received an Outstanding assessment, around 1% more than Male staff.   Throughout most of the other categories (bonus payment, promotions etc.), the percentage of female staff remains in line with the workforce, with just a slightly less chance of TP (37%).  

Religious Belief

The percentage of unknown respondents has decreased since the previous year, which is due to increased amount of data being received from new starters.  However the overall figures for individual religions are mostly similar to 2018.


The SFO’s workforce remains fairly evenly split in the main age groups, but as for last year the age group 25-34 supplies almost half of new starters.  The civil service statistics show a similar split, but uses slightly different bands.

Sexual Orientation

Declaration rates for LGBT staff have improved over the last 12 months, but remain extremely low, with only 2.4% declaring as LGBT.    


The declaration rate of 2.4% is a decrease from the previous year, and remains well below the civil service level of 11.7%.

Main Figures:

Starters charts (with full workforce charts inset)

Bonus charts (with full workforce charts inset)

Performance Bonus charts (with full workforce charts inset)

Temporary Promotion charts (with full workforce charts inset)

Permanent Promotion charts (with full workforce charts inset)

[1] UK civil service stats are as at 31 March 2019, as published on the ONS website.