Racism at work has been experienced by more than a third of black or minority ethnic workers (BME) and, surprisingly, nearly half (43%) of cases of discrimination went unreported.
The survey of 1000 BME workers by trade union body the TUC included incidents of bullying, abuse and being singled out. The polling is part of a major new report on racism at work.
Nearly half (47%) of those who were verbally abused at work say this was because of their race and 42 per cent of those bullied or harassed say their direct manager was the main perpetrator.
The TUC are now calling for a zero- tolerance policy for racism at work to be adopted by every employer. They also want the government to produce a full strategy on race equality and legislation on reporting data on race and recruitment. There are also calls for new third-party harassment rules to protect workers who deal with the public, making employers responsible for abuse suffered.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:
“Racism still haunts the Britain workplace. Racist bullying, harassment and victimisation should have no place anywhere, least of all at work. And it’s clear that people are being denied opportunities because of their race.
“Employers must take a zero-tolerance attitude and treat every complaint seriously. It’s a scandal that so few black and Asian workers feel their bosses are not dealing with racism properly.
“And it’s unacceptable that shop workers, bus drivers and street cleaners face racist abuse from members of the public. The government should change the law so their employers have to protect them.
“Anyone who has faced discrimination at work should talk to their union rep or join a trade union. We all have a responsibility to call out racism wherever we see it.”