Ethnic Minorities Face Difficulties due to Racial Discrimination

An investigation by a number of MSPs has found that despite years of legislation and initiatives, ethnic minorities still face racial discrimination in the workplace.

The study found that ethnic minorities still faced a number of “significant barriers” when seeking employment and that many were being held back by discrimination in the workplace and a lack of opportunity that was significantly more likely among ethnic minorities.

Following the investigation, Holyrood's Equal Opportunities Committee urged the government to take action to tackle discrimination in the workplace and end any racial discrimination that may still occur.

Racial Discrimination in Scotland

As part of a six-month inquiry, the Holyrood Equal Opportunities Committee heard that those of an ethnic background are more likely to be underpaid and underemployment. As well as this, despite a better academic performance, the investigation also found that in terms of senior management opportunities and roles, ethnic minorities were significantly underrepresented.

In the report, the committee outlined their concerns saying: "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."

Steps to Eradicate Racial Discrimination

The inquiry into discrimination in Scotland urged the government to try and take immediate action to reduce the number of people unable to work due to racial discrimination. The committee called for targets to be set, a greater awareness of racial inequality and also urged the government to open up public contracts to ethnic minorities to try and eradicate ethnic minorities being overlooked.

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 within 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."

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."

Employment Solicitors Aberdeen: Contact Us

Sadly, despite a number of efforts to eradicate discrimination in the workplace, such incidents still occur. If you have been overlooked for a promotion, a job or if you have been dismissed due to your gender, race, age or sexuality, you could be entitled to take legal action. Contact our team of expert solicitors today using our online contact form.


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