BAME employees still suffer bullying, report finds

Race campaign director Sandra Kerr.
Race campaign director Sandra Kerr.
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One in four black, Asian or ethnic minority (BAME) employees in the UK are still suffering bullying and harassment in the workplace despite a widespread zero tolerance policy, a report has found.

The 2019 Race at Work Report, published by Business in the Community, uncovered the shocking statistic even though 97 per cent of British employers now have a clear zero tolerance policy on racial bullying and harassment.

But it also found that fewer than half, 45 per cent, of employers have carried out a review into bullying or harassment in their workplace.

And less than a third, 31 per cent, publish their ethnicity pay gap in spite of figures showing 63 per cent monitor this data on a regular basis.

The survey is the largest of its kind, covering more than 108 companies, which between them employ more than 32,000 BAME staff.

It comes a year after the launch of the Race at Work Charter, with more than 190 employers now signed up across all sectors.

Sandra Kerr, race campaign director at Business in the Community, is urging more employers to sign up and to “go even further” and encourage their key suppliers to do so as well.

She said: “In order to achieve a fairer workplace in the UK, we need to encourage all employers to hold themselves accountable and to be transparent about where they are and what direction they are headed.”

She added that the report showed improvements are being made but that targets needed to be set.

The survey discovered that while half of employers are making sure performance objectives of their top bosses include action on race, only 21 per cent of managers have a specific objective to develop ethnic minority talent in their teams.

Ms Kerr said: “Measurement is such an important lever for change and targets must be set at every stage, from recruitment through to retention and progression at all levels.”