EHRC report on bullying racism and harassment in the health and social care sector

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (“EHRC”) began an inquiry in late 2020 into the experiences of health and social care workers from a range of ethnic minorities. The inquiry focused upon lower paid roles and has now produced its final report. 

The final conclusions of the report were hampered by incomplete data on lower paid ethnic minority workers, in particular from the adult social care sector, which meant that it was difficult to know the true extent of any issues. However, the inquiry did find that low paid social care workers from ethnic minorities did experience different treatment at work. They were more likely to be employed on zero hours contracts which, of course, leads to poor pay and lack of job security. These workers also had less awareness of their employment rights and had a fear of raising any concerns. 

In addition, this group of workers has also been at the forefront of keeping the social care system going since March 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic, and previous reports suggest ethnic minority workers in the health and social care sector were particularly affected by the Covid-19 virus. 

The inquiry report makes various recommendations to try and rectify these inequalities within the health and social care system such as:

  • A more systematic way of gathering data
  • Regulators to include within existing frameworks how to address equality issues and implication for welfare of staff
  • Strategies to ensure and promote awareness of employment rights
  • Address organisational cultures to raise concerns freely

The issues raised by this inquiry report may of course be the basis also of employment tribunal claims as well as civil claims for work related stress. Health and social care providers should be mindful of the findings of this report going forward. 

A copy of the report’s conclusions can be found here.

Written by Associate, Jennifer Johnston

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