There are 3.9 million BME people working in the UK. They are more than twice as likely than white workers to be stuck on agency contracts (Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images).


BLACK, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) workers are far more likely to be trapped in temporary and insecure work in the UK, a new study showed.  

BAME workers fare worse than white workers in the jobs market, said the Trade Union Congress (TUC) report published at the start of its annual Black Workers Conference on Friday (12). 

There are 3.9 million BME people working in the UK. They are more than twice as likely than white workers to be stuck on agency contracts. 

One in 24 BME workers is on zero-hours contracts, compared to one in 42 white workers. 

One in 13 BME workers is in temporary work, compared to one in 19 white workers, the TUC’s latest report added.  

The analysis shows that many BAME workers are experiencing the double hit of underemployment and low pay.

BAME employees are twice as likely to report not having enough hours to make ends meet. 

This financial insecurity places many minority workers and their families under significant financial stress and is a result of widespread institutional racism in the labour market, the TUC noted. 

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Far too many BME workers are stuck in low-paid, insecure and temporary work. 

“This has a huge impact on their living standards and life chances.  

“This problem isn’t simply going to disappear over time. We need a co-ordinated approach led by government to confront inequality and racism in the labour market – and wider society.” 

The TUC has urged the government to legislate to introduce mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting for all employers with more than 50 employees, including a duty to produce an action plan. 

The federation of trade unions also asked the legislators to ban zero-hours contract and offer all workers guaranteed hours to improve the socio-economic conditions of the BME workers.