PCS backs call for inquiry into impact of Covid-19 on black workers

02 Jun 2020

Black and minority ethnic groups are more than 4 times as likely to die from Covid-19 compared to people of white ethnicity.

There is clear evidence that black and minority ethnic groups are at higher risk of dying from COVID-19 than the rest of the population though that risk may not be the same for all ethnic groups. Data from the ONS published on 7 May shows that, after adjusting for age, men and women of black ethnicity were at highest risk.

PCS is backing Labour MP Diane Abbott’s call for an inquiry into the disproportionate impact of coronavirus on these groups. We need our members and supporters to write to their MP to urge them to sign her parliamentary early day motion.

We have joined the call by the TUC for the Equality and Human Rights Commission to conduct an investigation and we have also written to the EHRC.

Tell us your experience

The TUC has focused its intervention on the impact of institutional racism on black workers. In all the discussions around this issue, the voices of BME workers themselves have been largely absent. We and the TUC want to put this right and make sure their voices are heard. BME workers’ voices and experiences must shape the debate and any solutions developed.

People have told us about BME workers being disproportionately assigned to front line situations, not been given adequate protective equipment, targeted when hours or jobs are being cut and racially abused by colleagues or customers. Often they have not been able to raise issues for fear of victimisation.

We want you to help make sure the voices of these workers are at the centre of conversations about what needs to change.  

We need your support to enable BME workers to share their experiences of unfair treatment and racism at work during this crisis to:

  1. highlight the lived experience of BME and migrant workers
  2. pressure the EHRC as the equalities regulator to use their powers to hold government and employers to account
  3. ensure targeted action is taken to tackle racism at work
  4. shape the narrative around the impact of Covid-19 on BME workers.

How you can help

Need help?

If you are a PCS member read our coronavirus Q+A and you can log an enquiry with our response team by emailing responseteam@pcs.org.uk  

To get more involved in PCS, register to become a PCS Advocate.

Not a member? Join online today.

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