British minority ethnic workers are paid below the UK real living wage when compared to their white counterparts, a new report has revealed.
The survey conducted by the Living Wage Foundation (LWF) also revealed rising discrimination against ethnic minority workers and urged renewed support amid the cost-of-living crisis.
“In a cost of living crisis that has yet to peak, this report makes clear that minority ethnic workers will be among those hit hardest by soaring costs as many are disproportionately employed in low-paid, insecure work,” Katherine Chapman of the LWF said.
“The cost of living crisis, like the pandemic, is exposing long-standing racial inequalities in the labour 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 real living wage when compared to just 20% of white workers.
Some 34% of ethnic minority workers have been denied promotion due to their ethnicity and background while 29% have been refused a job for the same reason.
A shocking 56% of ethnic workers have reported discrimination in the workplace with 22% being denied training opportunities.
“Addressing poverty is impossible without challenging structural racism too. Employers who commit to paying workers the real Living Wage are not only supporting their staff through a cost of living crisis, they take the first step on a much bigger journey: towards racial equality in the UK labour market,” Chapman said.
Workers receiving the lowest wage 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 findings by the LWF, a separate study conducted by Survation, which polled 2,000 ethnic minority workers, found that workers felt trapped in low-paid roles but were unable to leave due to a lack of alternative opportunities.
There are an estimated 4.8 million low-paid jobs across the UK. However, with the onset of the cost-of-living crisis, the worst in over four decades, many are calling on the government and employers to ensure their workers are paid a real living wage and receive financial support.
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