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Report: BAME workers over a third more likely to be in insecure work

Black, Asian and minority ethnic workers are over a third more likely than white workers to be stuck in temporary or zero-hours work, according to a report.

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The study by the TUC found that one in 13 BAME employees are in insecure jobs, compared to one 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 workers in particular face insecurity at work, and are more than twice as likely as white workers to be in temporary and zero-hours work. One in eight black workers are in these forms of work, compared to one in 20 for white workers.

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


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


Previous TUC research shows that temporary and zero-hours workers typically get paid over a third less than workers on permanent contracts.


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.”


The 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 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.
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