A recent report from the TUC has revealed that two in five (41%) Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) workers have faced racism at work in the last five years.
The study was carried out by Number Cruncher Politics for the union body’s Anti-Racism Taskforce and is believed to be the largest study of its kind to date. The findings of the report make distressing reading. Only 1 in 5 (19%) of those who have experienced harassment told the TUC that they had reported the most recent incident to their employer. Clearly urgent changes need to be made to both Government policy and governance in the workplace.
Other findings from the survey include:
More than 2 in 5 (44%) of the respondents who didn’t report the incident as they didn’t believe it would be taken seriously. A quarter of respondents said they were worried about the impact reporting the incident would have on their working relationships with colleagues.
Nearly half (48%) of respondents who did report the incident were not satisfied with how it was handled by their employer. Even more worryingly, around 1 in 14 (7%) said reporting the racist incident made their treatment and situation worse.
The impact of this treatment is far-reaching. 8% of respondents reported that they chose to leave their job as a result of the racism they experienced and 26% said they would have left if their finances and other factors had allowed it.
The General Secretary of the TUC, Frances O’Grady stated of the findings; “This report must be a wake-up call. Ministers need to change the law so that employers are responsible for protecting their workers and preventing racism at work.”
In addition to legislative changes, it is also vital that employers create a culture where racism, misogyny, and all other forms of bullying, poor treatment, and discrimination are not tolerated; where employees can speak freely if they are subjected to abuse, harassment, bigotry or bias at work. One of the best places to start is to develop an anti-racism strategy. Steps for this should include:
Need more information? The CIPD has a wide range of resources and advice available on its website
Find out more about the TUC report and its recommendations report here
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