Discrimination on the grounds of ethnicity during the recruitment stage is still a problem in the UK according to new government research. A study by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) found that for every nine applications sent by a white applicant, an equally good applicant with an ethnic minority name has to send sixteen to obtain a positive response. The study suggested the problem was less prevalent for public sector jobs which generally use a standard application form for recruitment, eliminating differences between the types of applications received. Jim Knight, minister for employment and welfare reform, said:
“This research clearly shows that some employers are discriminating when it comes to choosing staff. This has no place in a modern society and racial discrimination cannot be allowed to continue. “We introduced laws to stop discrimination at work and strengthened them in 2000. We also introduced new diversity and equality requirements in DWP contracts with suppliers. Employees can use the Race Relations Act to take employers to a tribunal if they are being treated unfairly and they will also get support and advice from the European Human Rights Commission to do so.” The DWP said it had commissioned the research to try to explain the 13.8% gap between the employment rate of the general population and the country’s ethnic minority population.
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