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BAME workers ‘forced into low-paid, insecure work’

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Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) workers are over a third more likely than white workers to be stuck in temporary or zero-hours employment, according to a new study by the Trade Union Congress (TUC).

The TUC study found that 1 in 13 BAME employees are trapped in insecure jobs, compared to just 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 people, in particular, are more than twice as likely as white workers to be in insecure work, with around 1 in 8 facing insecurity at work compared to 1 in 20 white workers.

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

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

Workers trapped in temporary and zero-hours are typically paid over a third less than those on permanent contracts.

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.

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.”

Tags : 3June2017ArticleEmploymentEmployment lawEqualityFrances O'GradyLabour MarketMoneyNewsSocietyTUCUK Home NewsUK newsZero-hours contracts