TUC call for Private sector accountably to Race Relations Act

Small and medium sized businesses employ few black and minority ethnic workers and are also failing to engage with ethnic minority customers and suppliers, new research has revealed.

The Contribution of Ethnic Minorities to SMEs (CEMESME), which is funded by the EU, carried out a survey among 300 small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and discovered the they have made little progress in employing people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds.

More than a third of the companies surveyed (35.5 per cent) have no ethnic minorities in their workforce at all and a 90 per cent of them have less than 10 per cent of managers from an ethnically diverse background. In terms of the multiracial make up of companies, almost 80 per cent (79.9 per cent) have an entirely white workforce.

The lack of diversity in the workplace is matched by an ambivalent attitude towards customers and suppliers. More than 40 per cent of those surveyed admitted that they have no strategies in place to facilitate business relationships with black and minority ethnic suppliers.

This has led for a call for the duties of public authorities under the Race Relations Amendment Act (2000) to be extended to the private and voluntary sector:

“Governments have always taken the position that good practice in the public sector will filter across to the private sector…it’s wishful thinking,” Wilf Sullivan told Black Britain. The TUC Race Equality Officer stressed that there needs to be proper engagement by the government with the private sector to get the message across.

Over the last two years the TUC has also been persuading the government to use public procurement, using the USA and Canada as successful examples of where this strategy has helped to increase black employment in the private sector:

Posted by, Asif Yusuf



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