Issue date
02 Jun 2017

Black, Asian and minority ethnic workers are over a third more likely than white workers to be stuck in temporary or zero-hours work, according to a new TUC report released today (Friday).

The study found that 1 in 13 BAME employees are in insecure jobs, compared to 1 in 20 white employees.

There are over three million BAME employees in the UK, of whom nearly a quarter of a million are in zero-hours or temporary work.

Black workers in particular face insecurity at work, and are more than twice as likely as white workers to be in temporary and zero-hours work. 1 in 8 black workers are in these forms of work, compared to 1 in 20 for white workers.

Huge growth in temporary work

The report also finds that between 2011 and 2016, the number of black workers on temporary contracts shot up by 58% – over seven times the increase for white workers (8%).

Black women have been the worst affected, with 82% more now in temporary jobs than in 2011, compared to a 37% increase for black men.

Previous TUC research shows that temporary and zero-hours workers typically get paid over a third less than workers on permanent contracts.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“Black, Asian and ethnic minority workers are being forced into low-paid, insecure work. And it’s getting worse.

“This problem isn’t simply going to disappear. Dealing with insecure work has to be top of the list for the next government. And we need a real national strategy to confront racism in the labour market.”

The TUC is calling on the next government to:

  • Ban mandatory zero-hours contracts, so that guaranteed hours are offered to all workers;
  • Give everyone the same rights as an employee, unless the employer can show that they are genuinely self-employed;
  • Give all workers to a right to a written statement of terms, conditions and working hours, from day one;
  • End the pay penalty for agency workers, so that they get the going rate for the job;
  • Require employers to publish ethnic monitoring reports on recruitment, pay, and employment type;
  • Abolish employment tribunal fees;
  • Allow trade unions access to all workplaces to help improve pay and conditions.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:
-
All figures taken from TUC analysis of ONS Nesstar figures for averaged quarters across 2016. Figures showing a change are based on changes from 2011 to 2016.

Table 1: Workers by employment status

 

Temporary workers

Zero-hours workers

Total

Employees (total)

 % of employees

White

596,319

699,380

1,295,699

23,685,356

5%

BAME

133,303

107,531

240,835

3,087,766

8%

Black

52,819

40,280

93,099

802,922

12%

Table 2: Growth in number of temporary workers, 2011-2016

2011

2016

 

Temporary workers

% of all workforce

Temporary workers

% of all workforce

White

758,823

2.9%

818,815

2.9%

Black

44,013

6.4%

69,365

7.8%

Table 3: Change in number of black temporary workers, 2011 - 2016

 

Percentage increase in total

Proportion of temporary  workers in all employment- in each ethnic group 

Male

37%

0.4%

Female

82%

2.5%

- “Black” in the figures refer to black African and African-Caribbean.
- All TUC press releases can be found at tuc.org.uk/media
- TUC Press Office on Twitter: @tucnews