Ethnic minorities in UK twice to have lost their job during pandemic

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LONDON: A charity has found ethnic minorities are twice as likely to have lost their job compared to the national average during the Covid-19 pandemic, Asian Image has reported.

A survey by the HOPE not hate Charitable Trust found that those from minority backgrounds were twice as likely to report having lost their job (7%) compared to 3% in a nationally representative polling from June (and 4% in the May national poll).

They were also twice as likely to have struggled to pay rent (9% compared to 5% nationally and a third more likely (13%) to report having had their hours reduced. They were also a third more likely to have gotten into debt (9%) compared to national average.

Worryingly, BAME communities also reported low levels of confidence in the government handling of the pandemic – a majority felt that the Government has not dealt with the Covid-19 pandemic well and over half said that the government has not done enough to protect BME communities specifically from the threat of Covid-19.

In response to the findings Shadow Home Secretary Rosena Allin-Khan MP said, “So many BAME people are in insecure work and have to carry on with unsafe practices for fear of the repercussions, afraid to speak out. They could not afford not to go to work – they could not risk losing their jobs.

“Perhaps just as worrying as the health inequity faced by BAME communities are the economic consequences of lockdown. BAME people are up to twice as likely than the national average to face economic hardship through loss of work and lack of financial support. As we face the very imminent threat of a second wave, these factors create the perfect storm for further transmission and increased suffering in BAME communities.”

HOPE not hate has urged the Government to rethink the plan for recovery to ensure financial support to those impacted by any potential local lockdowns, which are most likely to impact BAME communities.

Rosie Carter, Senior Policy Lead and report author said, “The country came together in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic showing both our gratitude to those working in key services and reaching out in our communities.

“Now we are heading into the next phase of the pandemic response, the evidence is mounting that BAME communities have been hit hardest by both the pandemic and the consequences of lockdown, so it is vital that the government urgently prioritises a targeted public health strategy that bridges gaps between communities, reaches those most at risk and contributes to building better support networks across our society.”