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Jobs market discriminates against BME workers, says report

BME workers more than twice as likely to be stuck in insecure work
Ryan Fletcher, Friday, April 12th, 2019

Black and minority ethnic (BME) workers are more than twice as likely to be stuck in insecure work as their white counterparts, new research reveals.


The TUC, which published the analysis at the start of its annual Black Workers Conference today (12 April), said the UK’s jobs market “is discriminating against BME workers”.


Calling for “widespread institutional racism” to be eradicated, the TUC said the government needs to implement gender pay gap-style legislation for BME workers.


TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said, “Far too many BME workers are stuck in low-paid, insecure and temporary work.


“This has a huge impact on their living standards and life chances. This problem isn’t simply going to disappear over time.


“We need a co-ordinated approach led by government to confront inequality and racism in the labour market — and wider society.”


The TUC research, based on the Office for National Statistics’ 2018 Labour Force Survey, shows that the UK’s 3.9m BME workers are more than twice as likely as white workers to be in insecure or temporary work.


The introduction of a law requiring firms with more than 50 staff to report the ethnicity pay gap in their organisations is needed to help tackle the issue, the TUC said.


BME workers are also paid a staggering £3.2bn a year less than their white colleagues performing the same roles, according to Resolution Foundation research released in December.


Unite national officer for equalities Harish Patel said, “It is a fact that in 21st Century Britain BME still workers face significant employment barriers – whether that’s accessing stable and decently paid employment or receiving the same wage as their white counterparts doing the same job.


“Unite is dedicated to ensuring that discrimination and institutional racism and bias in all their forms are eradicated from the workplace, both by lobbying politicians to enact policies such as those put forward by the TUC and by fighting for change in workplaces across the country.


“This includes measures to tackle the under representation of BME workers at all levels, bargaining for ethnic monitoring at the workplace, making sure members have access to equality reps and educating on race equality.”




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