Wednesday 2 October 2019 12:01 am

One in four from ethnic minorities bullied at work

As many as a quarter of all ethnic minority employees at British businesses are having to put up with bullying and harassment, it was revealed today, prompting calls for employers to crack down.

Although 97 per cent of businesses have a clear policy of zero tolerance towards racial harassment or bullying, less than half – 45 per cent – have actually commissioned a review into whether it happens in their workplaces.

“In order to achieve a fairer workplace in the UK, we need to encourage all employers to hold themselves accountable and to be transparent about where they are and what direction they are headed,” said Sandra Kerr, race campaign director at Business in the Community which compiled.

“Many are recognising the importance of a zero-tolerance approach to bullying and harassment but our results show this needs to be matched with consistent action.”

The organisation’s Race at Work Charter survey also found that whereas nearly two thirds of employers collect data on how pay relates to ethnicity, fewer than half of these published their ethnicity pay gap.

Kerr said the data shows that employers need to be encouraged to hold themselves to account.

“We can see this in the evolution of ethnicity pay gap reporting over the past few years where many employers are measuring their pay gaps and taking action, but half of those measuring their pay gaps are still hesitant to speak publicly about it,” she said.

The study gathered data on more than 32,000 ethnic minority employees in UK management. More than half were from the private sector and 40 per cent were public sector staff.

The charter was launched last year, and has gathered 190 signatories.

Signatories pledge to appoint a sponsor for race, capture and publish data, and make equality the responsibility of all managers.

Kerr said: “The goal for employers needs to be creating inclusive organisational cultures where people can feel valued for their contributions and where differences are acknowledged as strengths rather than something that holds them back.”