COVID-19: ethnicity and economic impact

This factsheet, COVID-19: ethnicity and economic impact, examines the impact of the pandemic on black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people in the workplace.

Looking at the pandemic through a race lens, the factsheet looks back at previous economic downturns, the current situation and shares guidance on the actions employers can take to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the BAME workforce.

Unconscious bias can play a role

Public sector and private sector organisations need to ensure that diverse voices are represented within the virtual key decision-making tables being established at this time.

When roles need to be filled urgently it is easy for bias that may not be intended or unconscious to enter the selection process.

Questions that can be asked by employers and decision makers

  • Do we have any BAME people around the table?
  • If not, how are we going to hear and learn from the lived experiences from Britons from diverse backgrounds?
  • How can we include their voices?
  • Do we have employees from BAME backgrounds that can join our team?
  • How can we consult with BAME communities to hear their lived experiences and challenges?

A call to action for government

It is important that government bodies are asked to to capture and publish ethnicity data and identify the disparities in the implementation of polices introduced because of the pandemic and subsequent lock-down:

These should include, but are not limited to:

  • Ensuring participation in the government Job Retention Scheme is monitored by ethnicity
  • Monitoring who is successfully moved back into full-time or part-time employment following furlough.
  • Monitoring the redeployment and progression of BAME employees in central and local government.
  • Ensuring COVID-19 deaths are monitored by ethnicity.
  • Ensuring the NHS and social care employees who contract COVID-19 are monitored by ethnicity group.

Download the fact sheet to learn more on the actions advised for employers and more on the suite of free supporting publications.