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The ‘Is Britain Fairer?’ Report

A new report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission has highlighted increased unemployment rates for ethnic minorities, disabled people and young people aged 16 to 24.

The report, entitled ‘Is Britain Fairer?’, shows that rises in UK unemployment disproportionately affect Pakistani, mixed and black African, Caribbean and black British ethnic groups.  Not only this, but the decline of pay (in real terms) between 2008 and 2013 was felt more by ethnic minorities such as African, Caribbean and black people.

Perhaps it is unsurprising then, that the poverty rate for black adults in the UK increased from 2007 to 2013. Young people aged 16-24 and disabled people were also revealed as more likely to be living in poverty than people within a white ethnic group.

This could be down to employers’ unconscious bias or direct discrimination in interviews with job candidates. Age should not have a bearing on an employer’s decision to hire you. Employers should look at the experience you have relevant to the role. However, age discrimination at interview stage does occur as does disability discrimination and sex discrimination.

It is difficult, but not impossible, to prove discrimination at interview stage. If you have a job offer withdrawn after you have accepted the position you can potentially claim for unlawful discrimination and breach of contract.

To read more on discrimination at interview stage see our blogs:

Women in Work

The ‘Is Britain Fairer?’ report, like the Women in Work Index, evidenced that the UK has yet to achieve gender parity in the workplace.

‘Is Britain Fairer?’ found that women are over-represented in part-time work and less likely than men to be in senior positions. This matches the findings from the Women in Work Index that only 42 per cent of the female population is in full-time employment compared with 69 per cent of men and that only 17 per cent of boardroom staff are female.

PwC, who created the Women in Work Index, pointed towards the high costs of childcare compared to leading OECD countries as a reason for the large numbers of women in part-time work compared to those in full-time work.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission, who created the ‘Is Britain Fairer?’ report, noted that the cost of childcare across England varies a lot and that it is more difficult for the parents of a disabled child, parents with black or Indian children, and parents in modern professional occupations to find childcare.

David Jones is an employment law solicitor at Slater and Gordon in Manchester.

Slater and Gordon is a national law firm recognised as the leader for providing legal advice to employees on workplace discrimination claims. We also handle equal pay claims relating to salary, bonus payments and benefits. To speak with an employment law solicitor expert call our employment law solicitors on freephone 0800 916 9060 or contact us online.

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