BAME workers are a third more likely to be underemployed

TUC describes underemployment as 'a waste of talent'


More than 15 per cent of Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority (BAME) workers are unemployed in the UK, compared to 11.5 per cent of white workers, according to a new report from the TUC.

The research shows that if the rate were equalised, 110,000 BAME workers would be lifted out of underemployment.

Commenting on the report, launched today, TUC general secretary Frances O’ Grady said:

“Underemployment is a major problem in the UK, and it only gets worse if you’re black, Asian, or part of any ethnic minority. This is not only wrong, but a massive waste of talent too.

“We know this is part of a much bigger story. BAME workers are more likely to be unemployed, paid less, and aren’t getting enough of the top jobs.

“Employers and the government cannot afford to ignore these problems. They must now take real action to tackle underemployment and pay discrimination.”

The report will form part of the TUC’s submission to the government’s McGregor-Smith Review on ‘developing black and ethnic minority talent’. The submission’s recommendations will include:

•    publishing ethnic monitoring reports on underemployment, hiring, firing, promotion, and training;
•    using standardised, anonymous job application forms for new hires;
•    establishing clear, written procedures for dealing with discrimination at work;
•    advertising opportunities for training, extra hours, and development such as deputising and secondments to all staff.

Another report published last week by the Equality and Human Rights Commission found that overall, unemployment among black people is double that among white people and that BME people are less likely to occupy senior professional positions.

Additionally, despite increasing educational attainment among BME people, those with degrees still earn 23.1 per cent less than their white counterparts and are more than twice as likely to be unemployed.

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