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The Labour Force Survey Reveals Class Discrimination in UK Workplaces

The Labour Force Survey has confirmed that class discrimination is rife in the workplace. 

Between July and September in 2014 nearly 100,000 people were surveyed about the main breadwinner of their household when they were 14 years old.

The questions they answered on the breadwinners’ occupational status revealed a class pay gap of 10 per cent. This means that even after adjusting figures for factors such as age, gender, ethnic origin, education, hours worked and the size of the employer, people who work in high up positions in management earn more if they come from a privileged background.

It would seem there is a glass ‘class ceiling’ for those who have come from a working class family and have worked their way up in sectors such as IT, law, medicine, finance, the armed forces, police and emergency services as well as in higher education and the public sector.

The Equality Act 2010 protects employees from suffering from many types of workplace discrimination including age, disability, gender, race, religion and sexual orientation, but there is no mention of class discrimination.

Harriet Bowtell, employment solicitor at Slater and Gordon, said: “Some types of discrimination can be hard to detect and class discrimination would certainly be hard to prove. Class is not a listed protected characteristic under the Equality Act.

“However, socio-economic discrimination in the workplace is clearly a real issue. It remains to be seen whether such a form of discrimination will itself become unlawful in the future.”

If you have suffered discrimination at work call the work discrimination solicitors at Slater and Gordon on freephone 0800 916 9060 or contact us online.

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