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15 September, 2020 Open access

Black and minority ethnic workers have ‘shouldered more risk’ during coronavirus pandemic, says TUC

New analysis shows that BME people are more likely to be in precarious work and in jobs with higher coronavirus mortality rates

Black and minority ethnic (BME) workers have 'shouldered more risk' during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the TUC has said.

Analysing official figures, the TUC highlights that one in six BME workers are employed on insecure terms and conditions, compared to one in ten white workers, making it more difficult for them to - 

In addition, the TUC found that BME workers are over-represented in jobs with higher COVID-19 rates - 

Launching a new anti-racism task force to investigate the systemic discrimination BME workers face, TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady said today - 

'Coronavirus has exposed the huge inequalities BME women and men face at work – with many forced to shoulder greater risk during this crisis. 

BME workers are hugely overrepresented in undervalued, low-paid and casualised jobs, with fewer rights and no sick pay. During the pandemic many BME people have paid for these poor working conditions with their lives. 

This crisis has to be a turning point. The government must challenge the systemic racism and inequality that holds BME people back at work, and beyond. 

And unions have a part to play. Our new antiracism task force will listen to BME people and take action to dismantle the barriers they face at work, in wider society - and in trade unions themselves.'

For more information, see BME workers have been asked to 'shoulder more risk' during pandemic, says TUC.