A third of Black, Asian, Mixed Race and other ethnically diverse people have left or considered leaving a job due to lack of flexibility

New research commissioned by Business in the Community, The Prince’s Responsible Business Network and Ipsos UK found that one in three (32%) Black, Asian, Mixed Race and other ethnically diverse people have left or considered leaving a job due to a lack of flexibility compared with one in five (21%) white people. The research, published as part of a gender equality campaign by BITC focuses on attitudes towards combining paid work with caring responsibilities in the UK.

The research also found that some groups were significantly more likely than others to have not applied for a job or promotion, or to have considered leaving or actually left a job, because of challenges combining paid work and care, including Black, Asian, Mixed Race and other ethnically diverse people; those on lower incomes; and shift workers.

Overall, there were also differences in how supported workers felt with childcare responsibilities based on household income. One in two (50%) workers in households with incomes under £26,0000 per year felt supported by employers with their childcare, compared with three quarters (75%) of those from households earning £26,000 per year or more.

The research, one of the largest of its kind in recent years, combined extensive quantitative research with focus groups to gain more detailed insight. From this work, BITC launched a ‘Who Cares?’ campaign, calling on employers and policymakers to transform the way they think about combining paid work and care, including adopting equal parental leave for birth and non-birth parents and mainstreaming flexible working.

For this research, Ipsos UK and BITC surveyed a representative sample of 5,444 people across the UK to better understand contemporary attitudes and experiences around combining paid work and care.

Charlotte Woodworth, Gender Equality Director at Business in the Community, said,

“This research tells us some groups are having a significantly harder time than others when it comes to combining paid work and care. Women with caring responsibilities and carers from Black, Asian, Mixed Race and other ethnically diverse backgrounds are being pushed down or out of the workforce as a result. Employers have the power to create working cultures that support all carers, regardless of race, gender or personal circumstances. Only then can we put up our hands and say that we have a truly inclusive workforce in the UK and employers must not stop reviewing, changing, and challenging their internal policies and practices until that happens.”

Sandra Kerr OBE, Race Director at Business in the Community, added,

“Supporting employees from all backgrounds who are juggling caring responsibilities alongside their careers needs to be a big focus for employers. The divide between women and men is already too big, but when we look at how caring responsibilities impact Black, Asian, Mixed Race and other ethnically diverse employees, it shows we have a long way to go towards true equality. Businesses are doing great things already but what we need to see now is more targeted action and at a much bigger scale.”

Notes to Editors:

  1. Read the full BITC Who Cares? report here.
  2. For this research, Ipsos and BITC surveyed a representative sample of 5,444 people across the UK to better understand contemporary attitudes and experiences around combining paid work and care. The mythology combined extensive quantitative research with focus groups to gain more detailed insight.

For further information, please contact Aoife Butler Nolan, Head of Media, Public Affairs and Policy on 07702 903 216.