Black and minority ethnic workers more likely to face job rejection – report

Alan Jones, PA Industrial Correspondent
·2-min read

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 TUC said its 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.

A third of black and minority ethnic workers say they have been unfairly turned down for a job compared to 19% of white workers, according to a TUC survey.

The research shows they are also more likely to say they have been unfairly overlooked for a pay rise or a promotion than white workers.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The pandemic has shone a spotlight on the racism faced by BME workers around the country.

“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.”

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

The TUC, which is holding a black workers’ conference this weekend, has launched an anti-racism task force, chaired by NASUWT general secretary Patrick Roach, to 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.