Britain’s human rights watchdog has begun an inquiry into inequalities experienced by people from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities who work in health and social care.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said it will consider the “structural issues which have left people from a range of ethnic minorities at greater risk” across England, Scotland and Wales.
It comes after a study commissioned by the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, last month found that black people are at almost twice the risk of dying from Covid-19 as white people.
And research published by the Resolution Foundation thinktank on 28 October showed that around 22% of BAME workers who had been supported by government subsidies were unemployed in September, compared with a figure for the general population of 9%.
EHRC chief executive Rebecca Hilsenrath said the inquiry would help to answer questions about racial inequality “and make recommendations that can be applied to a number of other working environments where ethnic minorities are over-represented at the lowest-paid levels”.
“This includes those on the frontline who have been supporting all of us through the immense challenges we have faced this year,” she added.
A call for evidence will be announced in coming weeks, along with further information about an external advisory group that will help guide the investigation.