Over a third of black and minority ethnic (BME) workers in the UK suffers racism in the form of bullying and abuse, according to a study by the country’s trade union centre. The UK’s Trades Union Congress (TUC) conducted a study of around 1,000 BME workers and believe they have discovered bias within the workplace as almost a fifth said they had been passed over for training or promotion. “Racism still haunts the Britain workplace. Racist bullying, harassment and victimisation should have no place anywhere, least of all at work,” said TUC general secretary, Frances O’Grady said today.
More than 43 per cent of ethnic minority workers said they did not report discrimination to their employers, and 38 per cent did not report bullying and harassment. The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said employers have a legal duty to prevent such cases within their workplace. Neil Carberry, CBI managing director for people, said: “All businesses should adopt a clear policy of zero tolerance, regardless of who the perpetrator is, and work with staff to build a culture that ensures people feel confident to speak out.” “Firms have a clear legal duty to protect their workers under both employment rules and the Health and Safety at Work Act.”
The TUC has called on employers in Britain to do more to tackle racism in the jobs market, including by publishing ethnic monitoring reports on underemployment, hiring, firing, promotion and training. It is also recommending standardised, anonymous job application forms. It wants the UK government to develop a comprehensive race equality strategy and is calling for workers’ rights to be expanded to include temporary and part-time workers. The group is also urging the government to use public sector contracts to improve companies’ race equality practices.