According to research by the TUC, black and minority ethnic (BME) workers are three times more likely than white workers to have had their working hours cut during the pandemic.
The survey found that around one in 11 (9 per cent) had their normal weekly hours reduced compared to one in 33 (3 per cent) white workers. In addition, nearly one in eight (13 per cent) BME workers had their hours cut without them requesting it in the last 12 months, compared to one in 11 (9 per cent) of white workers. 
The poll also found that BME workers were nearly twice as likely to say they had had to take on more than one job in the last 12 months as white workers. 
In addition, one in five (20 per cent) BME respondents told the TUC they were worried that if they did not go into their workplace this would impact negatively on them, for example in terms of their job security or their chances of getting a pay rise. By comparison, only one in seven (14 per cent) white respondents shared this concern.
Previous TUC analysis has revealed that the unemployment rate for BME workers has risen three times as fast as the unemployment rate for white workers during the pandemic. The BME unemployment rate increased by 41 per cent between the first quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021, compared to 14 per cent for white workers. Around one in 11 (8.9 per cent) BME workers are now unemployed, compared to one in 25 (4.1 per cent) of white workers.
The TUC is calling on the government to:
  • Introduce mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting 
  • Require employers to publish action plans to ensure fair wages for BME workers in the workplace
  • Ban zero-hours contracts and strengthen the rights of insecure workers 
  • Publish all the equality impact assessments related to its response to Covid-19 and be transparent about how the needs of BME communities are included in policy decisions.

The online survey was conducted for the TUC between 13 and 21 May 2021 with a sample of 2,134 workers in England and Wales – which is nationally representative according to ONS Labour Force Survey Data. 

To read the study in more detail click here.