Project May - investigation into the racial codification document found at Post Office

In June 2023, Post Office launched an investigation into a document found on Post Office’s systems in 2023 following a Freedom of Information Request and included identity codes describing a person’s racial origin, one of which an outdated and offensive term. This has now concluded and a report has been produced on its findings.

Post Office is committed to changing the culture of the business. We wanted to be fully transparent about the findings of the report and while it is an extremely difficult read, it’s important that we acknowledge what’s gone wrong in the past, so we can prevent failings in the future. We’ll continue to work with our Equity, Diversity & Inclusion team, networks and senior leadership to ensure we can continue to build a better Post Office for the future.

You can read a summary of the report findings here.

You can read the full report here (24pp)

Ben Tidswell, Senior Independent Director, said:
“As we said last May when this document came to light, the language used in it is completely abhorrent and we welcome the outcome of the investigation. Diversity is central to Post Office life today and we are committed to continuing our journey to ensure equality, diversity and inclusivity is at the heart of what we do to support Postmasters in their communities.”

Karen McEwan, Group Chief People Officer, said:
“The language used was utterly abhorrent, and I would like to reiterate Post Office’s condemnation of its usage. Since joining the business in September 2023, I have been actively supporting the ongoing efforts to change the culture of the organisation. We have a zero tolerance policy towards racism and any form of discrimination, and actively work to create an environment where every colleague feels valued and respected.” 

Juliet Lang, Leadership and Culture Director, said:
“The report is an extremely hard read, and rightly so – the language used in the document was unacceptable and it is imperative that we understand how it came to be. Today’s Post Office is focused wholeheartedly on fostering a culture of respect and inclusion for all colleagues, and over the years we have made significant progress to strengthen our D&I processes, educate colleagues and ensure robust processes are in place, including commissioning an independent audit of our ED&I strategy.”