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Our workforce demographics 2019

Religion and belief


33% of the workforce have not shared their religious belief. From the information available, there is little change in the workforce in recent years, with 34% Christian, 19% Atheist, and 13% of other religious beliefs.

Changes over time

Download the data for this chart Breakdown of our religious groups, between 2015/16 and 2018/19

Changes in the workforce

Starters and leavers

Of all appointed new starters, 38.4% declared non-Christian or other beliefs, 25.7% were Christian and 35.9% were asked but declined to declare their religious belief.

Of those leaving the organisation, 35.2% declared non-Christian or other beliefs, 30.3% were Christian and 34.4% were asked but declined to declare their religious belief. The number of leavers was consistent with the overall organisational percentage of non-Christian employees.

Applications and appointments

Non-Christian candidates made 51.1% of all external applications for jobs at NHS Digital.

At shortlisting stage, around 52.6% of all shortlisted applicants were held non-Christian beliefs.

38.3% of successfully appointed people were of non-Christian belief.

15% of applicants did not disclose their religious beliefs.

13.1% of applicants who identified themselves as non-Christian belief reached shortlisting stage, compared with 11.5% who identified themselves as Christian.

Non-Christian job applicants (% of total number at each stage)
  Applied Shortlisted Appointed
Christianity 33.7% 30.5% 25.8%
Other faith 51.1% 52.6% 38.3%
Not disclosed 15.2% 16.9% 35.9%

Note: the percentage of employees who share their diversity monitoring information is much lower for appointed staff, who must complete another declaration, than at application and shortlisting stage. External recruitment was controlled this year as part of the planned organisational change. This means that direct comparison is not possible across all stages of recruitment, or with previous years.


31.9% of all promoted employees were of non-Christian belief.


During 2018/19, 59% of non-Christian employees accessed some form of training – online or classroom-based – compared with 51% of employees with a Christian belief. 

Of the 138 employees in the three cohorts of the NHS Digital Leadership Programme, 38% were Christian, 38% were of other religious belief and 25% had not shared their religious belief. 

Last edited: 5 September 2019 10:53 am