BME workers have been asked to “shoulder more risk” during pandemic, says TUC
16 Sep 2020 02:47 PM
The TUC yesterday (Tuesday) warned that black and minority ethnic (BME) workers have been asked to “shoulder more risk” during the pandemic, often working in insecure jobs with fewer rights at work.
- New analysis reveals that BME people are far more likely to be in insecure and high-risk jobs
- TUC launches new antiracism task force to tackle the barriers and systemic racism BME people face at work
The warning comes as TUC analysis shows that BME people are far more likely to be in precarious work and in jobs with higher coronavirus mortality rates than white people, such as security guards, carers, nurses and drivers.
Put at higher risk
TUC analysis of official figures shows that 1 in 6 (16%) BME workers are employed on insecure terms and conditions, compared to 1 in 10 (10%) white workers.
The TUC says this has put BME staff at higher risk of Covid-19 exposure and job loss. The union federation argues that insecure contracts make it harder for workers to:
- assert their rights for a safe workplace with adequate protective equipment (PPE)
- shield if they – or someone they live with – has a health condition that puts them at higher risk
- take time off for childcare responsibilities if schools or childcare providers close.
Additional analysis shows that BME workers have been over-represented in jobs with higher Covid-19 death rates:
- Nearly 3 in 10 (28%) of male BME workers are employed in jobs with a higher male mortality rate, compared to less than 1 in 5 (18%) of white male workers. This makes male BME workers 57% more likely to be working in one of these occupations than white male workers.
- 1 in 5 (20%) of female BME workers are employed in a specific occupation with a higher female mortality rate, compared to 1 in 7 (14%) of white female workers. This makes female BME workers 48% more likely than female white workers to be employed in an occupation with a higher female mortality rate.
Click here for the full press release