Racism and unconscious bias in the workplace - how to recognise it and prevent it.

The last act to be passed In the UK regarding race was the Equality Act in 2010. This defined race to include people of colour, ethnic or national origin, and nationality. This Act was supposed to legally protect employees from racial discrimination.

However, a study by the Centre for Social Investigation at Nuffield College, University of Oxford found that discrimination against black Britons and Britons from a south-Asian origin has not changed in the past 50 years.  Prof Anthony Heath, co-author of this study said: “The absence of any real decline in discrimination against black British and people of Pakistani background is a disturbing finding, which calls into question the effectiveness of previous policies.”

In 2019, the Racism at Work survey was published by the University of Manchester. They discovered over 70% of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) workers have been racially harassed at work in the last five years. 60% said they had been treated unfairly due to their race with 30% reporting that they had been bullied or been asked insensitive questions due to their race.

The idea that discrimination in the workplace has not improved over 50 years is a very bleak one. When you think how far technology and media has come in 50 years, the idea that racial discrimination is still as prevalent as it was in the late 60’s early 70’s is unfathomable –  but, sadly, it is true. As employers, we have a duty of care to our employees and must take proactive steps towards preventing racism in the workplace.

In this webinar we discussed racism and unconscious bias in the workplace. We also discussed the impact Black Lives Matter (BML), a global movement that has reverberated around the world, has had on the workplace and how it fits in with the Equality Act 2010.

How can you recognise and prevent unconscious bias in your workplace? How can you ensure and prevent racism and race related bias in your company? Watch the video now to find the answers.


With guidance changing so frequently, we are doing our best to keep you up to date. The information provided in the recording above is our understanding at this point in time (1st December 2020), however, as more and different advice becomes available this position may change, and we will update accordingly. This is an evolving and unfolding situation, and we take the view that various measures may need to be applied for different sets of circumstances at an appropriate time. We as a team are available to discuss with you what measures are available to you.

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For more information about support for your business's human resources, call us on 0131 225 7458 (Edinburgh), 0141 459 7458 (Glasgow) or email info@gravitatehr.co.uk.

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