Institutional racism is to blame for South Asian workers being the most likely to miss out on sick pay they are entitled to, researchers say.
White British workers are more likely to receive sick pay than every ethnic minority group, a report from the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) found. Analysis showed South Asian workers were the 40 per cent more likely to lack access to sick pay they are legally entitled to.
“We’re relatively confident in saying this is labour market discrimination,” Parth Patel, lead author of the report told the Big Issue. “There’s unfair practice by employers in terms of who they’re giving access to sick pay to and who they’re not.”
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The researchers said they were surprised to find the ethnic disparities in access to sick pay in the new analysis conducted by the Virus Watch study at University College London.
Even considering factors that could explain the disparity such as lower income levels, greater participation in the gig economy or zero-hours contract work, and higher levels of self-employment in South Asian communities, the researchers still found a disparity, and suggested “institutional racism plays a part.”
“We see every single ethnic group actually has an elevated odds of lacking access to sick pay compared to white British people,” Patel continued. He added that due to small sample sizes the research could only conclude that this was statistically significant for South Asian workers.