One in three BME workers say they’ve been unfairly turned down for a job, pay rise of promotion, study finds
- Research out by the TUC into treatment of black and minority ethnic workers
- Black and minority ethnic staff twice as likely to be kept on insecure contracts
- TUC chief Frances O’Grady said pandemic had ‘shone a spotlight’ on racism
One in three black and minority ethnic workers have been unfairly turned down for a job, pay rises or promotion, a new study suggests.
The research also indicates that black and minority ethnic staff are twice as likely to be kept on insecure contracts, or forced to reapply for their jobs on worse terms and conditions.
The research, carried out by the Trade Union Congress (TUC), shows they are also more likely to say they have been unfairly overlooked for a pay rise or a promotion than white workers.
It comes after figures from a separate study, commissioned by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, revealed that in October that 16 per cent of black workers in the capital are in insecure roles, compared with six per cent of white workers.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said the pandemic had ‘shone a spotlight on the racism faced by BME workers around the country’.
It comes after figures from a separate study, commissioned by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, revealed that in October that 16 per cent of Black workers in the capital (pictured: Library image of Canary Wharf are in insecure roles, compared with six per cent of white workers
She said: ‘BME workers are far more likely than white workers to be turned down for jobs, pay rises and promotions, and they are more likely to be in low-paid, insecure jobs, with fewer rights and a greater risk of being exposed to coronavirus.’
‘Ministers must tackle the structural racism that exists within our economy, and wider society, once and for all.’
The TUC, which is holding a black workers’ conference this weekend, has launched an anti-racism task force.
It will be chaired by NASUWT general secretary Patrick Roach, who will lead a renewed campaign against racism at work.
Dr Roach said: ‘The evidence of racism at work is incontrovertible. Black workers have been denied the opportunities to secure decent, rewarding and secure jobs, and this situation is getting worse as a result of the adverse economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
‘Structural racism is holding back communities and blighting life chances.
‘A national plan is needed urgently to end racial disparities in employment by addressing the root causes head on.’
The report was based on a survey of 2,200 workers.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady (pictured left) said the pandemic had ‘shone a spotlight on the racism faced by BME workers around the country’. The TUC is launching a new anti-racism task-force. NASUWT general secretary Patrick Roach (pictured right) will chair the group
It comes as experts warned that black and ethnic minority people are being put at risk by the UK’s ‘colour-blind’ Covid vaccination strategy.
The mammoth operation has prioritised Brits by age after mountains of research and data showed those who are older are more at risk of dying from the virus.
But a group of top medics, including a top NHS race official, claims ministers should have focused on ethnic minorities after the over-70s got their first dose.
Studies show Covid death rates are highest in BAME communities, which experts say is because ethnic minorities are more likely to get infected in the first place because they live in deprived areas, use public transport, work public-facing jobs and live in overcrowded and multi-generational homes.
The Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI), which designed the jabs priority list, said, however, that age was the single-biggest risk factor.
But Professor Azeem Majeed, a primary care expert from Imperial College London, warned the move had ‘disregarded’ BAME communities.
‘In the first phase of the Covid vaccination programme, large numbers of low-risk people were vaccinated such as NHS and university staff who were not working in patient-facing roles’, he told MailOnline.
‘These vaccine recipients would have been at much lower risk of severe disease and death than some other groups but were vaccinated ahead of them.’
Professor Azeem Majeed, a primary care expert at Imperial College London, said BAME communities should have been prioritised after the over-70s got their first dose
Writing in the journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, earlier this month scientists called on ministers to prioritise jabs for BAME communities.
They said the drive was disregarding ‘the unequal impact of the pandemic on minority ethnic groups’ and widening racial inequalities in the UK.
They added this could be triggering higher levels of vaccine hesitancy in the groups, possibly because they feel let down by the roll out.
‘The invisibility of these vulnerable groups from the priority list and the worsening healthcare inequities are putting ethnic minorities at a significantly higher risk of Covid-19 illness and death,’ the authors wrote.
‘The UK’s colour-blind vaccination model disregards the unequal impact of the pandemic on minority ethnic groups, rendering it an enabler of structures that are known to systematically disadvantage BAME communities.’
Last month, the NHS has unveiled a ‘blueprint’ to improve coronavirus vaccine uptake among ethnic minority groups, after figures revealed higher-rates of vaccine hesitancy.
Local faith and community leaders will team up with doctors to host online virtual events where they will answer questions and address concerns people have about the jabs.
They will also distribute leaflets in 20 different languages — including Arabic, Punjabi and Hindi — to reach those who do not speak English fluently or can’t be targeted through traditional methods.
Number 10’s Counter Disinformation Unit will ramp up its efforts and work with social media companies to tackle anti-vaxx misinformation online.
Bogus claims that the jabs contain animal products or interfere with fertility have been widely distributed on platforms including WhatsApp, YouTube and Facebook.
People from black and minority ethnic backgrounds who have already received their first dose could also be recruited to give testimonies and encourage friends and family to get the vaccine.
Figures have shown that a significant number health and social care workers from black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds have been reluctant to get the jab.
Research this week suggested white NHS staff are almost twice as likely as black medics to get the Covid vaccine.
A lack of trust in Government is thought to be one of the main reasons behind their hesitancy, numerous surveys have suggested.
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