Ethnic minority workers paid below living wage in UK: survey


British minority workers are paid below the actual living wage in the UK compared to their white counterparts, a new report has revealed.

The Living Wage Foundation (LWF) survey also revealed growing discrimination against ethnic minority workers and called for renewed support amid the cost of living crisis.

“In a cost of living crisis that has yet to peak, this report makes it clear that ethnic minority workers will be among the hardest hit by soaring costs, as many are disproportionately employed in poorly paid and precarious,” said LWF’s Katherine Chapman. .

“The cost of living crisis, like the pandemic, is revealing long-standing racial inequalities in the labor market,” she added.

According to the study, 33% of Bangladeshi workers, 29% of Pakistani workers and 25% of black workers are paid below the UK’s actual living wage, compared to just 20% of white workers.

Some 34% of ethnic minority workers were denied a promotion because of their ethnicity and background, while 29% were denied a job for the same reason.

A shocking 56% of ethnic workers reported workplace discrimination and 22% were denied training opportunities.

“It is impossible to tackle poverty without also tackling structural racism. Employers who pledge to pay workers the true living wage are not just supporting their staff through a cost of living crisis, they are taking the first step in a much larger journey: towards racial equality on the UK labor market,” Chapman said.

Workers earning the lowest wages are the most vulnerable to rising inflation and, as seen during the pandemic, ethnic minority workers are once again facing the brunt of the cost of living crisis .

In addition to the LWF findings, a separate study by Survation, which surveyed 2,000 ethnic minority workers, found that workers felt trapped in low-paying roles but were unable to leave due to a lack of alternative opportunities.

There are an estimated 4.8 million poorly paid jobs in the UK. However, with the onset of the cost of living crisis, the worst in more than four decades, many are calling on the government and employers to ensure their workers are paid a living wage and given financial support.

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Michael A. Bynum