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Employment Law Glasgow

Ethnic Minorities Still Face Issue of Race Discrimination

Despite many initiatives and the passing of legislation to try and end discrimination in the workplace, a new report has found that ethnic minorities still face “significant barriers” when attempting to find a job in Scotland.

MSPs revealed in a new report that they found a number of ethnic minorities to be held back by racial discrimination with Holyrood's Equal Opportunities Committee urging the Scottish Government to take action to tackle "defective" employment and recruitment practices.

The investigation into the employment issues regarding ethnic minorities in Scotland found that ethnic minorities are on average, more likely to be unemployed or in low-paid work. As well as being underemployed or underpaid, ethnic minorities were also more likely to be underrepresented in senior management levels despite performing better academically in comparison to white Scots.

The issues were outlined in the committee's report which reads: "We heard of the significant barriers facing people from ethnic minorities in gaining employment and developing a career.

"The evidence indicated a situation that is not acceptable, and we were extremely concerned to hear of how discrimination and lack of access to opportunities are holding back many talented and committed individuals.

"To tackle discrimination and promote diversity in Scotland the Scottish Government must recognise the recommendations in our report. It should, therefore, give greater priority to the issue and target appropriately a range of resources."

Proposed Changes to Tackle Ethnic Discrimination

As part of the investigation, the committee and MSPs involved in the investigation put forward a number of proposals to tackle discrimination in the workplace involving ethnic minorities.

They urged the Scottish Government to use public contracts to open up opportunities to ethnic minorities and to establish equality targets to ensure that it was seen that they were tackling racial discrimination. The committee also called for greater awareness of racial equality issues in the workplace, including open recruitment, diverse interview panels and equality-related questions in interviews.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: "We welcome the findings of the Equal Opportunities Committee in conducting this inquiry and will respond fully to their recommendations.

"The Scottish Government values the diverse communities who enrich Scotland socially, culturally and economically.

"It is completely unacceptable that anyone should face barriers to training or employment as a result of their race or religion and we are committed to eradicating this."

“Ethnic Penalty on Scotland’s Young People”

Committee convener Margaret McCulloch MSP said: "Achieving equality in the workplace is a vital part of ensuring Scotland as a nation is fair and inclusive to all.

"We are urging the Scottish Government to work with senior figures across the public sector, and, where possible, the private sector to tackle the problem.

"We can only progress if we refuse to accept current defective recruitment practices and challenge segregation in employment. Without confronting existing practices, we cannot address any underlying racism and discrimination that the evidence confirms exists.

"Fail to act now, and we risk placing an 'ethnic penalty' on Scotland's young people."

Racial Discrimination Employment Lawyers: Contact Us

Sadly, despite numerous efforts to end racial discrimination, a number of people continue to be victimised in their workplace or overlooked for a job due to their ethnicity. If you have been the victim of discrimination due to your gender, your race or even your sexuality, contact our team of expert solicitors today using our online contact form.

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