One in 13 ethnic minority workers are in insecure jobs, TUC study reveals

TUC has urged the new government to ban mandatory zero-hours contracts as a new report reveals that over a third of black, Asian and minority ethnic workers (BAME) are more likely than white workers to be stuck in temporary or zero-hours work.

A new TUC report shows that one in 13 BAME employees are in insecure jobs, compared to one in 20 white employees.

Out of the over three million BAME employees in the UK, nearly a quarter of a million are in zero-hours or temporary work.

The report shows that black workers are the category hard hit by insecurity at work. They are more than twice as likely as white workers to be in temporary and zero-hours work. One in eight black workers are in these forms of work, compared to one in 20 for white workers.

It also emerges from the report that there is a huge growth in temporary work. Between 2011 and 2016, the number of black workers on temporary contracts shot up by 58% – over seven times the increase for white workers (8%).

The situation is worse for black women with 82% more now in temporary jobs than in 2011, compared to a 37% increase for black men.

Previous TUC research shows that temporary and zero-hours workers typically get paid over a third less than workers on permanent contracts.

Reacting to the report, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Black, Asian and ethnic minority workers are being forced into low-paid, insecure work. And it’s getting worse.

“This problem isn’t simply going to disappear. Dealing with insecure work has to be top of the list for the next government. And we need a real national strategy to confront racism in the labour market.”

The TUC is recommending to the new government to ban mandatory zero-hours contracts so that guaranteed hours are offered to all workers.

The government is also urged to give everyone the same rights as an employee, unless the employer can show that they are genuinely self-employed.

The TUC is further urging the government to give all workers a right to a written statement of terms, conditions and working hours, from day one.

The government should also end the pay penalty for agency workers, so that they get the going rate for the job, says the TUC.

It also urges the government to require employers to publish ethnic monitoring reports on recruitment, pay, and employment type; to abolish employment tribunal fees, and to allow trade unions access to all workplaces to help improve pay and conditions.

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