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Commenting on the government’s response published today (Wednesday) to the report published by the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities in March last year, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“No matter your race or background, everyone deserves to be treated decently and with respect at work. But that’s not always the case for most BME workers.

“Covid-19 has exposed the inequality BME people face in the jobs market. BME workers are far more likely to be in low-paid, insecure jobs, often with fewer rights and no access to sick pay. They’re more likely to be in frontline roles, so have had a higher risk of being exposed to Covid-19 - and they have been three times more likely to die.

“The Commission had a real chance to recommend decisive action to stamp out this institutional racism. But instead, they denied the experiences of BME workers and were complacent about the UK’s progress towards being an anti-racist society.

"The government has accepted the recommendations of the Sewell report, which denies systemic and institutional racism, and which failed to recognise or propose action on the institutional racism experienced by BME workers in the workplace.

"The government should have rejected the report, and instead proposed real action on workplace equality.

“Ministers must act now to ban zero-hours contracts which would benefit tens of thousands of BME workers overnight – and stop the damaging insecurity that traps workers in poverty. And they should ignore Sewell and bring in ethnicity pay gap monitoring now.”

Editors note

The report published by the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities in March this year is available at:

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