A report looking into the current level of racism in UK businesses has urged employers to take urgent action to stamp out prejudice.
The study, commissioned by Business in the Community, using survey data collected by YouGov and examined by researchers at The University of Manchester, investigated accounts from 24,457 workers of racist harassment or bullying at work, and how their employers promote equality, diversity, and fairness.
The report found that ethnic minority workers are frequently subjected to racism by their colleagues, managers, customers, clients, and service users, which can also have a severe impact on their emotional and psychological wellbeing.
As well as this, the survey uncovered that the promotion of equality and diversity is at best inconsistent, and in some cases non-existent.
“I defy anyone not to be saddened and shocked by The University of Manchester’s findings. The UK needs to sit up, listen and take action,” said Sandra Kerr OBE, Race Equality Director at Business in the Community.
“On many occasions, I have had individuals contact me asking what they should do about racial harassment they are experiencing at work as they have no access to robust support at work, or externally.”
The authors of the report are calling on businesses to impose a zero-tolerance approach to racism in policy and practice – as well as asking the Government to deliver ring-fenced funding to support the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), and scrap financial legal costs for employees seeking to challenge racism through employment tribunals.