Employment tribunals across the UK saw a dramatic 48% surge in the number of race discrimination claims in 2020, as the pandemic slams ethnic minorities hardest.
There were 3,641 employment tribunal cases with the jurisdiction code for race discrimination during the year, according to the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service.
“It’s the opportunity to speak up about it and for complaints to be properly heard that has increased,” Baroness Helena Morrissey, AJ Bell chair designate and chair of the Diversity Project told FN.
“My hope is that this doesn’t suggest more people are suffering racial discrimination, rather that more victims feel encouraged by the increased attention around the issue over the past couple of years to bring their cases to tribunal, which carries risk and is expensive.”
This is up 48% from 2,464 cases in 2019, 23% from 2,948 cases in 2018 and 76% from 2,036 cases in 2017, Financial News can reveal.
As of 30 June, there have been 1,734 such cases during 2021.
The Acas data, which tracked case numbers since 2017, was obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.
The wave of new cases come as companies face increased pressure to boost diversity and inclusion initiatives amid the rise of movements like Black Lives Matter after the police murder of Black American George Floyd last year. His killing sparked public outrage in the US and triggered a chain of protests around the world.
In the financial services sector, senior executives have also been forced to reckon with these issues, with public conversations about race and inequality take place both inside and outside the workplace.
The pandemic, which has hit ethnic minorities hardest, further increased the urgency of the discussions, with new protests in the UK emboldening objections to historical slavery-era statues within the City’s own Square Mile.
Alongside this, the City’s regulators also moved to consider what, if any, regulatory changes should be made to improve diversity and inclusion among firms.
Source: fn london