One-sided flexibility: BAME workers suffer most

Tuesday, June 15th, 2021

A new study carried out by GQR for the UK’s Trades Union Congress (TUC) shows that Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) workers are at the sharp end of one-sided flexibility at work.

Forty percent of BAME workers report that they face the threat of losing their shifts if they turn down work, compared to 25% of white workers. Fifty percent of BAME workers had been allocated a shift at less than 24 hours’ notice, while 45% have had shifts cancelled with less than a day to go.

The polling also reveals that BAME workers are particularly likely to want more hours and a more stable contract:

  • Sixty percent of BAME workers want more hours of work, compared to 30% who do not.
  • More than half of BAME workers on a variable-hours contract would like a fixed-hours contract; just 27% would prefer their existing arrangement.

GQR designed and carried out the survey of 2,523 working people in Great Britain aged 16 and over. Fieldwork was conducted online with results weighted to the national profile of working people by age, gender, region, social grade, ethnicity, work status, work sector and experience of furlough.

Data tables for the poll are available to download HERE.

For more information, contact Peter McLeod, on Twitter @mcleodp or