As the Coronavirus continues to disrupt the international economy, employers are now seeking ways in which employees can safely return to work.
However, evidence suggests that the virus does not affect the population equally; there are pockets of society who suffer exacerbated ill effects due to belonging to specific ethnic and racial groups.
BAME stands for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic. The acronym refers to all ethnic groups other than White ethnic groups. The Coronavirus has been disproportionately affecting BAME communities in respect of risks and outcomes and, consequently, has been increasing existing social and health inequalities.
According to the Office of National Statistics, those from the BAME community are up to four times more likely to die from Coronavirus than those from White ethnic groups.
A ‘rapid review’ was published on 2 June 2020, which found that the highest rates of Coronavirus diagnosis was amongst black ethnic minority groups. When compared to White British people, Bangladeshi people are twice as likely to die from Coronavirus and Chinese, Indian, other Asian, Caribbean and other Black ethnicities have a 10-50% higher risk of death.
In June 2020, Public Health England (PHE) released a report called ‘Beyond the Data’ which looked to understand the impact of Coronavirus on BAME groups. It found that longstanding inequalities are exacerbated by Coronavirus. It also found increased risk of death and complications for BAME people.
Although the reasons are complex and varied, an increased risk occurs for a number of reasons, including housing challenges and racism in the workplace and in a healthcare settings, the latter resulting in a reduced likeliness to seek medical help when needed. Greater fear of morbidity also increases reluctance to seek medical help.
The PHE report also found that BAME people are:
Furthermore, those from the BAME community are more likely to suffer from health conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure, which then place them in higher risk categories for Coronavirus.
As economic life slowly returns to ‘normal’, employers are putting into place health and safety compliant arrangements for the return to working. Please click here for our guide to ‘life after lockdown’ at work, which includes a summary of your health and safety obligations and tips on how to comply.
In brief, you are required to ensure that, as far as reasonably practicable, you provide a safe system of work for your employees. You must also ensure that this system is implemented (with this aspect of health and safety obligations being the part which is most commonly overlooked by employers).
Taking into account what is now known about the specific risks associated with the return to work for BAME staff, how should you respond?
IR35 - your questions answeredRead more
Beyond BrexitRead more
New off-payroll working (IR35) rules coming into force in April 2021...Read more
Why are interim relief applications increasing in tribunals?Read more
Beyond Brexit: services trackerRead more
Clarity on agency worker rulesRead more
Employment Law Focus: Working parentsRead more
Retrospective claims following Black Lives Matter movementRead more
Board buy-in crucial to ethnic equality in retailRead more
The way people shop is constantly evolving, from the growth of online and the changing use of stores...Read more
Helping you navigate your business through the risks and opportunities that Brexit will bring.Read more
The widespread disruption and closure of businesses caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent national and local lockdowns has brought into sharp focus the question of available insurance cover for losses under...Read more
Watch our video series for information on the legal issues that are affecting the real estate sector. Each...Read more
The pandemic has had a deep and long-lasting effect on the leisure, food & drink sector, forcing operators to embrace new ways of attracting and servicing customers.Read more
The pandemic has forced the majority of the workforce into a world of remote working. As a result, our cities are evolving.Read more
Our countdown to Brexit and beyond podcast series looks at the impact for businesses on both sides of the pond of any free trade agreement between the UK and Europe and the UK and the US. ThisRead more
There's a growing demand for retailers to do more to attract the Purple Pound – the collective spending power of disabled shoppers, estimated to be worth around £274bn. We look at the opportunities, the legal issues and...Read more
Green finance is gaining speed, driven by global climate change pressures and the recognition of the vital role which sustainability plays in a resilient financial services sector.Read more