Houses of Parliament recognised as Top 75 employers in 2020 Social Mobility Employer Index


The House of Commons and Parliamentary Digital Service and the House of Lords have today been recognised as Top 75 employers in the Social Mobility Employer Index 2020, the leading authority on employer best practice, demonstrating Parliament’s commitment to social mobility in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The House of Commons and Parliamentary Digital Service have been ranked 54th, while the House of Lords has been ranked 47th.

Employers have a huge part to play in the levelling up agenda, and the Index demonstrates what is possible if organisations commit to supporting young people from all backgrounds.

The Index was created by the Social Mobility Foundation in 2017 and ranks UK’s employers on the action they take to ensure they are open to and progressing talent from all backgrounds. It highlights the employers who are doing the most to change how they find, recruit, and advance talented employees from different social class backgrounds. Now in its fourth year the Employer Index is the definitive benchmark of organisations committed to improving social mobility in the workplace.

Employers are assessed across seven key areas, these include their work with young people, routes into the company, how they attract talent, recruitment and selection, data collection, progression, experienced hires, and advocacy.

This year saw 119 employers from 17 sectors, who collectively employ almost one million people in the UK, answer around 100 questions. In addition to the employers’ responses, over 14,000 employees also took part in a voluntary employee survey.

The House of Commons and Parliamentary Digital Service and the House of Lords have been ranked in the Index for the work done to tackle this issue, ensuring those from lower socio-economic backgrounds are enabled to succeed. Measures taken to improve social mobility include:

Both the House of Commons and the House of Lords are now collecting socio-economic background data from colleagues which helps us to understand social mobility within Parliament and what we can do going forward

Workplace Equality Network ParliON has taken positive steps in internal advocacy of social mobility by encouraging colleagues to share their stories, holding social events and supporting colleagues from lower socio-economic backgrounds

Most roles advertised in the House of Commons have lower academic requirements than many other organisations which allows those from lower socio-economic backgrounds to apply and attain jobs in the House

The Commons Diversity and Inclusion team run social mobility schemes, to widen access to parliament by offering paid internships to those people who want to work for Parliament but who may not have access to the traditional routes into such roles

The House of Lords operates a school-aged work experience scheme which focuses on students from lower socio-economic backgrounds to engage them in the various routes into Parliament, emphasising that Parliament is for people from all backgrounds

Both the House of Commons and the House of Lords remove personal data from applications, for example candidates’ names and university attended if relevant from early stages of the recruitment process to eliminate the risk of unconscious bias when selecting candidates in our recruitment cycles

John Benger, Clerk of the House of Commons, said:

“I am absolutely delighted we have been ranked in the top 75 Employers on the Social Mobility Employer Index. We want our workplace to be one where everyone, whatever their background, truly believes that they can thrive. I am also grateful for all the excellent work that the Commons Diversity & Inclusion team and ParliOn has contributed, and to everyone else who made this possible.”