Minority ethnic Britons face ‘shocking’ job discrimination

A new research finds levels of discrimination remains unchanged since late 1960s
A new research finds levels of discrimination remains unchanged since late 1960s

The discrimination, Black Britons and those of South-Asian origin, particularly Pakistanis, face in the job market is similar to what they experienced in the late 1960s, research has found.

A study conducted by experts based at the Centre for Social Investigation at Nuffield College, University of Oxford, found that those from minority ethnic backgrounds had to send 80 per cent more applications to get a positive response from an employer than a white person of British origin, reported The Guardian.

The research is part of a larger cross-national project funded by the European Union and it has given rise to concerns that previous policies to bring down ethnic inequality have not been successful.

“The absence of any real decline in discrimination against black British and people of Pakistani background is a disturbing finding, which calls into question the effectiveness of previous policies,” Prof Anthony Heath, co-author and emeritus fellow of Nuffield College, was quoted as saying by The Guardian. “Ethnic inequality remains a burning injustice and there needs to be a radical rethink about how to tackle it.”

For the study, researchers sent almost 3,200 applications to both manual and non-manual jobs advertised on a popular recruitment platform between November 2016 and December 2017.

While an average 24 per cent of applicants of white British origin received a positive response from employers only 15 per cent of minority ethnic applicants received favourable feedback. This is despite minority applicants stating that they were either British-born or had arrived in the country by the age of six and had obtained all their education and training in Britain.

Dr Zubaida Haque, the deputy director of the race equality thinktank Runnymede, described the findings of the study shocking.

They demonstrated that “it’s not just covert racism or unconscious bias that we need to worry about; it’s overt and conscious racism, where applicants are getting shortlisted on the basis of their ethnicity and/or name”, she said.

“It’s clear that race relations legislation is not sufficient to hold employers to account. There are no real consequences for employers of racially discriminating in subtle ways, but for BME applicants or employees it means higher unemployment, lower wages, poorer conditions and less security in work and life.”