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Labour Market Realities: Racism in the Workplace


Today's labour market figures leave the headline story the same - the UK has historically high employment rates. However, as we've discovered month after month, this figure hides the worrying reality of low quality of work, job insecurity and falling wages. With inflation now at 3%, but just a 2.1% average per year pay rise, this is the sixth month in a row that prices have risen faster than wages.

The race disparity audit released earlier this month reminded us of another troubling issue - the gap in employment rates between different ethnic groups. While the employment rate for white people is 76%, it is only 64% for ethnic minorities.

This is not the only place there are discrepancies by ethnicity. People of colour applying for jobs are less likely to get an interview in the first place than white people, and are disproportionately in low paid jobs and on zero hour contracts. They are also less likely to get promoted, and one wage audit at PWC revealed an ethnic pay gap between BAME and white employees of 12.8%.

In order to better understand these problems, this month we spoke to TUC Race Equality Officer Wilf Sullivan about racial discrimination and institutional racism in the workplace.