Toggle high contrast
Issue date
Black and minority ethnic (BME) workers have been hit much harder by job losses during the pandemic than white workers new TUC figures have shown. As a BME women and trade unionist it is something that hits particularly close to home especially after the events of last summer.
Beth Farhat, Northern TUC

The analysis of official statistics reveals that BME employment has plummeted by 5.3% over the last year, compared to drop of 0.2% for white workers almost 26 times the fall in the rate for white workers and is on course to get worse.  

In some sectors such as accommodation and food the number of BME workers has dropped by around a quarter, compared to a fall of 13% for white workers. While in wholesale and retail the number has fallen by 16%, more than twice the fall in the number of white workers.

This paints a picture of a worsening economy where BME workers have borne the brunt of the economic fallout. In every industry where jobs have gone, BME people have been more likely to be made unemployed. 

What we know is that when BME workers have held on to their jobs, we know that they are more likely to be working in low-paid, insecure jobs that put them at greater risk from the virus. This pandemic has held up a mirror to discrimination in our labour market.  

The TUC is calling on government to act now and carry out a review into racism at work in the UK, we are also calling for urgent action to protect BME workers by Introducing mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting to make employers publish action plans to ensure fair treatment for BME workers in the workplace. 

A Ban zero-hours contracts and strengthen the rights of insecure workers – which will have a disproportionate impact on BME workers. 

Finally, the government have got to Publish all the equality impact assessments related to its response to Covid-19 and be fully transparent about how it considers BME communities in its policy decisions. 

To build the kind of society that most people in this region want I think it must be built around good jobs and fairness to do that everyone must be on an equal playing field when it comes to labour standards and pay.

Enable Two-Factor Authentication

To access the admin area, you will need to setup two-factor authentication (TFA).

Setup now