Black, Asian and minority ethnic workers (BAME) are over a third more likely than white workers to be stuck in temporary or zero-hours work, according to a new report released by the TUC.

The study found that 1 in 13 BAME employees are in insecure jobs, compared to 1 in 20 white employees.

There are over three million BAME employees in the UK, of whom nearly a quarter of a million are in zero-hours or temporary work.

Black workers in particular face insecurity at work, and are more than twice as likely as white workers to be in temporary and zero-hours work. 1 in 8 black workers are in these forms of work, compared to 1 in 20 for white workers.

Huge growth in temporary work

The report also finds that between 2011 and 2016, the number of black workers on temporary contracts shot up by 58 per cent – over seven times the increase for white workers at eight per cent.

Black women have been the worst affected, with 82 per cent more now in temporary jobs than in 2011, compared to a 37 per cent increase for black men.

Previous TUC research shows that temporary and zero-hours workers typically get paid over a third less than workers on permanent contracts.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“Black, Asian and ethnic minority workers are being forced into low-paid, insecure work. And it’s getting worse.

“This problem isn’t simply going to disappear. Dealing with insecure work has to be top of the list for the next government. And we need a real national strategy to confront racism in the labour market.”



Rebecca joined the HRreview editorial team in January 2016. After graduating from the University of Sheffield Hallam in 2013 with a BA in English Literature, Rebecca has spent five years working in print and online journalism in Manchester and London. In the past she has been part of the editorial teams at Sleeper and Dezeen and has founded her own arts collective.