Research Papers
Race at Work 2015
In the UK today, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people are under-represented at every management level in the workplace. One in eight of the working-age population is from a BAME background, yet only one in ten are in the workplace and only one in 16 top management positions are held by an ethnic minority person.mBritish people with a BAME background are more likely to enjoy their work but are less likely to be rated as top performers compared to their white counterparts. This Race at Work report provides us with greater understanding of the issues around this under-representation of ethnic minorities in the workplace and at senior levels. In this report we share the experiences of 24,457 ethnic minority and white employees aged 16 and over and currently in employment in the UK (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland). The participants took the race at work survey via a YouGov panel survey (6,076 respondents) and a public open survey (18,381 respondents). We find that: • BAME people are more likely to enjoy their work and have far greater ambition than their white colleagues. 64% of BAME and 41% of white employees in the panel survey said it is important that they progress. This is amplified in the open survey with 84% of BAME employees and 63% of white employees saying it is important to progress. • Racial harassment and bullying within the workplace is prevalent. 30% of those employees who have witnessed or experienced racial harassment or bullying from managers, colleagues, customers or suppliers report it has occurred in the past year alone. • Many UK employees do not feel valued or inspired. Many employees do not have access to career role models, nor are they inspired, feel supported or valued by their managers. This is felt most keenly by people from an ethnic minority background; BAME employees are less satisfied with their experiences of management and progression than white employees and just over half of the open survey respondents feel that they are working as part of a team. The lack of role models in the workplace is particularly stark for Black Caribbean (11%) and other black group (7%) employees, with Chinese and mixed race employees lacking role models both inside and outside of the workplace. • We are not comfortable talking about race at work. UK workplaces might be comfortable talking about age and gender, but are less comfortable talking about race. It is clear employers need to have more confidence to address the issue of race at work and aim to understand how it has an impact on the individual and their opportunity to reach their full potential. It also has an impact on organisational success and survival. Getting on the fast-track is an unequal business. Interest in taking part in a fast track programme is significantly higher amongst BAME groups, jumping from 18% of white employees who would take part to 40% of BAME employees. However, this is not reflected by greater access to fast track management programmes or inclusion in succession planning for all ethnic minority groups. The leadership pipeline of today needs to be populated with sufficient BAME talent to ensure that senior management of the future reflects an increasingly diverse working-age population. • There is some good news. There is some evidence that workplaces are responding to a high demand for mentors from BAME employees. Access to a sponsor is important when any group is under-represented at senior levels and there is some evidence that BAME people are more likely to have access to a sponsor than white employees. Where these relationships exist, BAME people respond positively – they feel valued and actively supported in their career progression. It appears that despite best efforts, ethnic minorities’ experiences of work are still less positive than their white counterparts. When we consider these findings in light of recent evidence that organisations with greater racial diversity on senior teams experience 35% greater financial returns,3 and the changing profile of the UK workforce, this report is certainly timely. We are all having to stay in work for longer, and one in four of the future workforce will be from an ethnic minority background. Understanding the age demographic of each ethnic group is important for employers to understand the full picture behind BAME under-representation in the workplace. Race at Work presents employers with a great opportunity to harness the huge ambition of ethnic minority employees, and reap the rewards. Employers shouldn't be afraid to talk about race at work – let’s turn debate into policy and action today, so that the UK fully utilises the diverse talent that exists in its workforce. The voices of 24,457 individuals cannot be ignored.
Discrimination by Appointment: How black and ethnic applicants are disadvantaged in NHS recruitment
  Discrimination against black and minority ethnic (BME) staff in the UK in access to employment, in opportunities once employed, and treatment in employment, is longstanding and well evidenced. Specific statutory changes, such as the Race Relations Amendment Act 2000, and a stream of policy initiatives have sought to encourage equality in the recruitment and treatment of BME staff by the NHS. Yet little has changed, and the time has come for the NHS to begin a serious conversation with itself about why not. We decided to stimulate this conversation by carrying out a brief but informative survey of published selection data in 60 randomly selected NHS trusts in England. (Of those 60 trusts, it turned out that only 30 had data available in a form that enabled our analysis, and therefore the results in this report are drawn from those.) This was prompted not only by our awareness that the problem of discriminatory selection is continuing but also by two recent developments that could make the problem less visible: the radical changes ushered in by the Health and Social Care Act 2013; and the review, also this year, of the Public Sector Equality Duty. Ten years on from a Prime Ministerial promise of an end to discrimination in the labour market seemed an appropriate time to consider what is happening in one very large employer over which the Government has significant influence, the NHS. Moreover, there is clear evidence of correlation between the treatment of BME staff in the NHS and the experience of patient care. So this is not only an issue of access to public service jobs but also of the quality of services. The data we gathered indicated that in the 30 trusts for which usable published data were available the likelihood of white applicants being appointed is more than three times (3.48) greater than that of BME applicants, and the likelihood of white shortlisted applicants being appointed approaches twice (1.78) that of BME applicants. These are similar likelihoods of being appointed to those identified five years ago in a survey by Health Services Journal. In a separate study we also looked at the recruitment of staff to the new institution set up to run the NHS by the Health and Social Care Action, NHS England (previously NHS Commissioning Board). As NHS England has started from scratch by recruiting its management and staff mainly from other parts of the NHS, and as it has a declared goal of promoting an ethnically representative NHS workforce, we might have expected to see that goal reflected in its own selection data. However, our analysis shows that the proportion of white applicants appointed to those new positions is between four and six times (depending on grade) greater than that of BME applicants. The results suggest little or no improvement in the overall pattern of discrimination in NHS recruitment in recent years despite numerous initiatives, with adverse implications for both NHS patients and staff. We really do have to talk about this. We need to find out what is going on, why it is going on, and what can be done about it, so that the NHS workforce is as good as it can be and at all levels reflects the population it serves. Click here to read the report in full
Living on the Margins: Black workers and Casualisation
Introduction In Britain there is more poverty in every ethnic minority group than among the white British population. 1 The TUC believes that a major cause of this poverty is race discrimination faced by black workers in the UK labour market. The lack of access to employment and to training and promotion opportunities has also consistently undermined the financial well-being of black communities in the UK. The 2008 recession led to lower levels of unemployment than many have been anticipated given the experiences of previous economic downturns of the 1980s and 1980s. However, it is clear that not all communities have benefitted from the recovery. As this report highlights, in the UK today Black and Minority Ethnic workers continue to experience high levels of unemployment. Recent research reveals that since 2010 the UK has witnessed a 50 per cent increase in the numbers of young people from BME communities in long-term unemployment. 2 The 2008 recession also heralded an increase in insecure and casual working in the UK. In the aftermath of the recession, as employment levels have risen, so too have the numbers of individuals working in part-time, temporary and insecure forms of employment. The growth in precarious work has been epitomised by the increased use in zerohours contracts. Official statistics confirm that by 2014, there were 1.8 million zero-hours contracts in use in the UK. 3 Findings from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) also suggested that the number of agency temps has grown in the aftermath of the recession. 4 Whilst atypical employment continues to represent a minority of overall employment – there is growing concern that the UK labour market is moving towards more low-paid, less secure and more exploitative forms of employment. TUC research published in December 2014 highlighted the human cost associated with the growth in casual work, including low pay, under-employment, and heightened financial insecurity. Those in precarious employment are more vulnerable to exploitation. Their working patterns and hours are largely dictated by their employer and they have very little flexibility or autonomy over their lives. Due to their uncertain employment status, the transient nature of their work and their low level of weekly pay, many zero-hours contract workers, agency workers and others in insecure jobs lose out on basic rights at work. Being in such a precarious situation means it is very difficult for workers to complain if they are treated badly. As a result they risk having the few rights they do have disregarded. This report highlights how BME workers have been disproportionately affected by the growth in part-time, insecure and low-paid employment. It illustrates the ways in which changes in working patterns and in the contractual relationship between employer and employees have had a negative effect on BME workers resulting in many living on the margins of the labour market. The findings outlined in this report are based on an analysis of the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Quarterly Labour Force Survey (LFS). The case studies and quotes scattered throughout the report are largely drawn from an online survey carried out by the TUC in April/May 2014. This survey received 3,244 responses. The vast majority of respondents were members of trade unions. One in three were employed in temporary work, including agency work, zero-hours contracts or fixed term contracts. Given the precarious nature of their employment, the identities of the individuals have been anonymised. Precarious employment and BME workers Official statistics indicate that temporary and casual forms of employment, as well as part-time employment, have increased steadily in the aftermath of the recession.5 As shown in Table 1, by October to December 2014 more than 1.7 million employees in the UK were employed in some form of temporary work, an increase of more than 300,000 since the start of the recession. Temporary working for these purposes includes agency working, employment on a fixed term contract, in casual work and other non-permanent employment than is temporary in some other way. The proportion of the overall workforce employed in some form of temporary work also increased from 5.5 per cent in 2008 to 6.5 per cent in 2014.6. Please see the TUC website to read this article in full
Diversity and Democracy: Race and the General Election
Summary • In 2015, Labour remained the first preference for most Black and minority ethnic voters, with around 60% choosing Labour. The Conservatives have increased their vote share significantly, from around 16% in 2010 to over 25% in 2015 • The Liberal Democrats got around 5% of the BME vote, and the Greens less. Only 2% of BME voters chose UKIP • There is increasing variation in how different ethnic minority groups vote, as well as regional differences • There are now 41 BME MPs, a significant rise, suggesting a future BME Prime Minister could now be sitting in Parliament • The success of Britain’s democracy depends not only on BME voter participation and representation, but on policy makers responding to ethnic inequalities Introduction The 2015 General Election saw the Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron returned with his party’s first overall majority since John Major’s win in 1992. Before the election, Runnymede published a volume, ‘Race and Elections’, indicating the increasing importance of Black and minority ethnic (BME) voters. This briefing updates those findings with the 2015 election results. Historically BME voters have been very strong supporters of the Labour Party, with as many as 90% choosing Labour until the 1990s. In the 2010 General Election, 68% of BME voters supported the Labour Party, compared to 16% supporting the Conservatives, and 14% supporting the Liberal Democrats. Contrary to some expectations before the election, we expect that the Labour party maintained most of its support among BME voters, with indications that around 60% still support Labour. This is because Labour increased its vote share significantly more (over 10%) in its most diverse seats, compared to their overall increase of just 1.5%. The Conservatives appear to have increased their vote significantly, to perhaps 25-30%, while the Liberal Democrats are unlikely to have won more than 5% of the BME vote in 2015. To put these numbers in context, overall the Conservative vote share increased by 0.8% to 36.9%, while the Labour vote went up by 1.5% from 28.9% to 30.4%. The Liberal Democrat vote share plummeted 15.2% to 7.9%, a two-thirds decline in their vote share. Please see the Runnymede Trust Website to read this article in full
Schedule 7: The impact of counter terrorism measures on the Muslim community
Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 allows officials at ports and airports to stop, search and examine people in order to determine whether they are involved in the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism. This research was based on case studies from Birmingham, East London, Glasgow and Leicester. Focus groups were held with local residents, including Muslim and non-Muslim participants. Interviews were held with individuals working in civil society and community organisations, as well as practitioners and officials at the local and national level. Please see the Durham University website to read the full article    
Poverty, inequality, employment and health
These statistics have been collated from a variety of different sources, which have differing ways of categorising and describing ‘race’ and ethnicity. (For example, some sources differentiate between particular black ‘groups’ whilst others do not. Some sources may just use the term Asian, others may differentiate between different Asian groups or different religious groups.) Where we have used other organisations’ statistics, we have followed the categorisation/names used by them – which means that there may be inconsistencies in terminology within and between pages.


Throughout the UK, people from BME groups are much more likely to be in poverty (with an income of less than 60 per cent of the median household income) than white British people. In 2010, nearly three-quarters of 7-year-old Pakistani and Bangladeshi children and just over half of those black children of the same age were living in poverty.  About one in four white 7-year-olds were classed as living in poverty.[1] In 2009, the Wealth and Assets Survey revealed that the ‘average white household’ had roughly £221,000 in assets, black Caribbean households had about £76,000, Bangladeshi households £21,000 and black African households £15,000.[2] BME groups are also more likely to experience homelessness. In Wolverhampton, for example, in 2011, 26 per cent of the population were from a BME community, but these same communities made up about 40 per cent of the homeless cases seen by the local authority.[3] Employment In June 2012, 7.3 per cent of White people, 15.5 per cent of Black (African or Caribbean) people and 17.3 per cent of people with mixed ethnicity, of working age (16-64), were unemployed.[4] In October 2012, 23 per cent of black males aged 16-24 were unemployed ; 13 per cent of white males in the same age group were unemployed.[5] Percentage of 16-24 year olds unemployed by gender and ethnicity, 2002-2012
2002 2008 2010 2012
All White 8 8 12 13
Asian or Asian British 8 12 13 15
Black or Black British 13 16 19 21
Male White 10 10 15 16
Asian or Asian British 10 16 15 16
Black or Black British 14 22 21 26
Female White 6 7 9 10
Asian or Asian British 6 9 11 13
Black or Black British 11 10 16 17
In 2011, about one in four black Caribbean and Bangladeshi households did not have a family member in employment. This figure was slightly less for black African and Pakistani households. Of white British households, roughly 15 per cent did not have a family member in employment.[6] In London, BME communities are less likely than white people to be paid the living wage (£8.55). Proportion of employees earning less than the London Living Wage[7]
Health BME groups as a whole are more likely to report ill health, and experience ill health earlier than white British people. Some health variations are linked to poverty and wider social inequalities, although there are a range of inter-linked and overlapping factors.[8] In 2012, a report by the Irish Traveller Movement in Britain (ITMB) noted that Gypsies and Travellers have a life expectancy that is 10-12 years less than the settled population. Of a sample of 260 Gypsies and Travellers, 38 per cent had a long-term illness, compared with 26 per cent of age and sex matched comparators.[9] The London Health Inequalities Strategy, published in 2009, noted that Bangladeshi and Pakistani Londoners were more likely to report their health as ‘not good’ than other groups.[10] In 2009, the Department for Communities and Local Government highlighted that the prevalence of certain illnesses and conditions, including long-term illness, asthma and bronchitis, are ‘significant’ for Gypsy and Traveller adults.[11] A survey of 63 refused asylum seekers, in 2010, revealed that 51 per cent of the respondents reported that their physical health had worsened since they had arrived in the UK. Health conditions included respiratory problems, gastric ulcers and muscular pains.[12] Access to healthcare Health inequalities are further linked to unequal access to healthcare. Some BME groups face considerable barriers to healthcare. In 2009, the Department for Communities and Local Government noted that Gypsies and Travellers faced particular difficulties accessing healthcare. Many felt that health workers and doctors misunderstood their needs and circumstances. The West Midlands Strategic Health Partnership noted, in 2010, that migrant populations faced significant barriers accessing healthcare including difficulties that were related to contracting and commissioning processes and a lack of knowledge about services available.[13] Mental health A disproportionate number of people admitted as inpatients in mental health services come from BME groups. In 2010, 23 per cent of inpatient admissions were from a BME background. According to the mental health organisation ‘Mind’, the admission rate for ‘other black’ groups is six times higher than average, indicating discrimination within the mental health system.[14] People from BME groups are more likely than white British people to be detained compulsorily under mental health legislation or put in seclusion. Research in 2013 indicated that black people detained under mental health legislation are 29 per cent more likely to be forcibly restrained than white patients. They are 50 per cent more likely to be placed in seclusion and more likely to be labelled as psychotic.[15] According to the Care Quality Commission (CQC), BME groups are disproportionately treated with Compulsory Treatment Orders (CTOs). In 2011/12, the proportion of people given CPOs that were from black or black British communities (15 per cent) was about five times higher than the proportion of  people from those communities in the general population.[16] For more information see:
The Poverty Site The London Health Observatory The Afiya Trust Black Mental Health UK
References: [1] ‘Three in Four Pakistani and Bangladeshi children in UK living in poverty at age 7’, Institute of Education (London, Institute of Education, 2010). [2] Omar Khan, ‘The racial wealth gap: not just an American problem’, Reuters (8 April 2011). [3] ‘Homelessness Strategy 2011 – 2014’, Wolverhampton City Council (Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton City Council, 2011), p. 14. [4] Karl Murray, London: race equality in employment, London, Trust for London, 2012). [5] TUC, ‘Young black men have experienced sharpest unemployment rise since 2010’, TUC (16 October 2012). [6] ‘Work and ethnicity’, The Poverty Site (Accessed 11 November 2011). [7] ‘Employees in London in low paid work by ethnicity’, Trust for London and the New Policy Institute (London, Trust for London and the New Policy Institute, 2012). [8] Ethnicity and health (London, Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, 2007), p. 1. [9] Irish Traveller Movement in Britain, The health and wellbeing of Gypsies and Travellers (London, ITMB, 2012). [10] Greater London Authority, The London Health Inequalities Strategy: draft for public consultation (London, Greater London authority, 2009). [11] Department for Communities and Local Government, Progress report on Gypsy and Traveller policy (London, Department for Communities and Local Government, 2009). [12] Laurie Ray, Refused sanctuary then deprived of their health (Leeds, Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers, 2010). [13] West Midlands Strategic Health Partnership, The migrant health agenda in the West Midlands: results of a local scoping exercise (West Midlands Strategic Health Partnership, Wolverhampton, 2010). [14] ‘Final Count-me-in census shows sustained discrimination in mental health’, Mind (6 April 2011). [15] Matilda, Macattram, ‘This lays bare the problems faced by detained black men’, Independent (19 February 2013). [16] African Health Policy Network, ‘Black people continue to be over-represented in detentions under the Mental Health Act’, African Health Policy Network (30 January 2013).