RICF: BAME Principles and Commitments and Supporting BAME

Head Office Circular NP/198/20
12th August 2020
The Secretary

Dear Colleague


The Rail Industry Coronavirus Joint Forum (RICF), of which RMT is a member, is
developing principles and commitments to provide guidance and support to black, Asian and minority ethnic employees. The principles build on examples of good practice that has already been implemented during COVID-19.


1. Employers will provide appropriate and timely training and awareness about the processes for managers and safety reps in connection with COVID-19 and black, Asian and minority ethnic colleagues. The information will highlight COVID-19 is more of a risk for black, Asian and minority ethnic communities and encourage such colleagues to undertake an individual health assessment.

Personal Data

2. Employers and trade unions will encourage all employees and in particular black, Asian and minority ethnic colleagues to share their ethnicity with their employer.

3. Employers will make a clear statement about the purpose of collecting ethnicity data, how it will be collected and processed in accordance with GDPR obligations, to reassure employees about confidentiality, with no requirement to participate in further research.

Risk Assessments

4. Black, Asian and minority ethnic colleagues will be actively encouraged to engage with their own employer’s risk assessment as part of COVID-19.

5. Participating in the risk assessment process is voluntary and the individual's wishes on whether to participate will be respected.

6. Risk assessments for creating a COVID-19 safe work environment should include ethnicity as a factor. Recognising roles, tasks and associated mitigations as part of the normal risk assessment and integrating the normal workplace assurance processes.

7. Any risk assessment for COVID-19 needs to be linked to general risk assessments and/or workplace assurance processes.

8. Following a risk assessment, an employee may be invited to participate in a meeting to discuss mitigation measures including adjustments to their job, etc.

Health Assessments

9. The individual health assessment will be personal, confidential and if required undertaken by the company's Occupational Health or medical advisor.

10. Information provided within the individual health assessment will not be used for any other purposes.

11. Providing the individual health assessment will increase access to Occupational Health services. Employers will make every endeavour to ensure that the OH Providers have the capacity to carry out health assessments efficiently.


1. As a prerequisite, these principles should underpin and be supported by risk assessments involving trades unions and Health and safety reps representatives. This is mandated by the Safety Representatives and Safety Committee Regulations 1977 Statutory Instrument 500.

2. The Rail industry develops summary information based on the PHE reports and other research about the impact of COVID-19 on people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. The information should be made widely available and updated as necessary.

3. Rail Industry can commit to conducting further research into the risks of COVID-19 and ethnicity i.e. the RSSB research project.

Your National Executive Committee noted and agreed the following report of its Health and Safety Sub Committee on 11th August:

We note the RICF report and that is still a work in progress and will need a final version to be produced. The Principles to be distributed to Officers, the BEM Advisory Committee and Health and Safety Representatives requesting that any problems which may arise in any companies be brought before this NEC.

Branches and Regional Councils to be advised.

I am acting in accordance with these instructions and will keep members advised of any developments.

As per your NEC’s instruction above, please note the RICF report and that is still a work in progress and will need a final version to be produced

Yours sincerely

Mick Cash
General Secretary