Amend the Equality Act 2010 to allow dismissal for discrimination in the workplace

Amend the Equality Act 2010 to allow dismissal for discrimination in the workplace

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nikki nicole started this petition to UK Parliament and

Thousands of people report job discrimination to the government each year. Employers are rarely held accountable.

Sign this petition to:

- Make any racial slurs or comments punishable by automatic dismissal if found guilty, in the workplace as part of an amendment to the Equality Act 2010.

The Problem:

A study by experts based at the Centre for Social Investigation at Nuffield College, University of Oxford, found applicants from minority ethnic backgrounds had to send 80% more applications to get a positive response from an employer than a white person of British origin.  People with Middle Eastern and North African backgrounds need to send 90% more job applications than white Britons.

Prof Anthony Heath, co-author and emeritus fellow of Nuffield College, said: “The absence of any real decline in discrimination against black British and people of Pakistani background is a disturbing finding, which calls into question the effectiveness of previous policies. Ethnic inequality remains a burning injustice and there needs to be a radical rethink about how to tackle it.”

To address this, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) commissioned the Racism at Work survey. Stephen Ashe from The University of Manchester surveyed over 5000 people, who answered questions relating to various aspects of their everyday working lives.

The responses were shocking, with over 70% of ethnic minority workers saying that they have experienced racial harassment at work in the last five years, and around 60% saying that they have been subjected to unfair treatment by their employer because of their race. Almost half reported that racism had negatively impacted on their ability to do their job, and almost half have been subject to ‘verbal abuse and racist jokes’.

In principle, it's illegal to discriminate in the workplace in the UK. But in practice, nothing has changed.

A 'Racism at Work' survey conducted by the University of Manchester showed that workplace discrimination is still widespread in the UK. More than 70% of ethnic minority workers said that they experienced racial harassment at work over the last five years. 

And that's not all. 

Over 40% of individuals who disclosed a racist incident to their employer said they were either called a 'troublemaker' or ignored. After reporting an incident, 1 in 10 of these individuals who reported the racial incident was disciplined or told to leave their job as a result. 

The 'Racism at Work' report also showed that racism in the workplace still exists. About 50% of individuals said that racism had made it harder to do their job correctly, while another 50% also faced verbal abuse and jokes due to their race in the workplace. 

This statistic also indicates that even if a BAME individual does get their foot in the door, they will not be treated equally. Through my own experience, I also know that ethnic minorities are less likely to have role models in senior management.  

While several reports and studies do call for equal treatment in the workplace, I don't feel that it is enough. UK companies need to do more than merely hiring BAME individuals as token employees. 

Hiring one or two black individuals can give the impression that ethnic minorities are being treated fairly in the workplace. The reality is that they are more likely to have higher levels of stress and depression as they are less likely to be appreciated and understood by their white counterparts.      

Instead, UK companies can be genuinely diverse only if it becomes part of everyday company culture. There needs to be a commitment to a diverse leadership team who will then automatically include on BAME individuals in all aspects of decision making.   

Furthermore, although little change is expected to UK employment law during 2020, this is expected to change in January 2021. The Equality Act 2010 currently acts as the UK’s workplace discrimination law, and one part of it is meant to protect individuals from racial discrimination in the workplace. While the Act gives authority to an Employment Tribunal to give you a remedy if you have been discriminated against, none of these measures are strong enough to make a UK employer stop racial workplace discrimination for BAME employees.

How you can help:

I believe that the repercussions for racial discrimination in the workplace must be stronger. The UK Government should give an Employment Tribunal the power to automatically dismiss an individual who is guilty of racial discrimination in the workplace, as a remedy within the Equality Act 2010. Automatic dismissal should be an order, not a recommendation, with further penalties if an employer does not take action.

You need to sign this if:

You want to make racial slurs or comments in the workplace a UK legal offence. Individuals who are found guilty will be automatically dismissed. We need your support to get the UK Parliament to make this a part of the Equality Act 2010, following Brexit.

My Bio:

My name is Nikki, and I am the Head of Product Development and Design for a leading beauty brand. I am part of a collective of individuals who feel strongly about reform and inspiring change. We consist of small business owners, bloggers and everyday people of all ethnicities who believe in doing the right thing.

We are mothers, fathers, teachers, creatives, entrepreneurs, employees, managers...the list goes on.  We feel strongly about equal opportunities and making a positive change to the society we live in. We see a chance to align racial discrimination in the workplace change with new or existing legislation post-Brexit. We urge everyone to act as together we can make a difference. 

We are inspired by a new generation of changemakers that are brave and determined to make a difference. We all have children, and we want them to grow up in a world that gives them integrity and makes them feel as though they belong. Throughout our career and life, we have sometimes experienced injustice, especially in the workplace. So, we think that all organisations and companies should make an individual feel safe and valued. 

Please sign and share. We nominate black-owned businesses, bloggers and creatives, employees, entrepreneurs and students of all background to join us on this journey.

We are all equal and deserve the same fair treatment. Share as many times as you can until your friends and family sign this petition. Let's get this to the UK Parliament. If you are white, please share, and if you are an ethnic minority, please share. No matter your colour, we all deserve fair treatment in life. Let's make a difference. Let's create change together.  Share, Share, Share...

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