By Nabila Mallick
Over the last decade, there has been increased discrimination against Muslims in employment. In more recent years, the mainstream newspapers have reported alarming rates of discrimination. The newspaper articles make for uncomfortable reading. For example, the Independent newspaper reported on the 30th November 2014 that:
“Muslims are facing the worst job discrimination of any minority group in Britain, according to new research which found that they had the lowest chance of being in work or in a managerial role.”
“Muslim men were up to 76 per cent less likely to have a job of any kind compared to white, male British Christians of the same age and with the same qualifications. And Muslim women were up to 65 per cent less likely to be employed than white Christian counterparts.”
Muslims were the most disadvantaged in terms of employment prospects out of 14 ethno-religious groupings in the UK.
The Guardian reported on the 9 October 2015 report released by the cross-party thinktank Demos highlighting how British Muslims are strongly under-represented in the “top professions” compared to the population at large, and refers to the “Muslim penalty” that exists across ethnic groups in the labour market.
Indeed the report itself concluded that Muslims were least likely to be in the Top Professions.
On the 11th August 2016, The Telegraph reported “Muslims face some of the lowest employment rates and lowest rates of pay of any group, and are under-represented in managerial and professional roles: the Women and Equalities Committee inquiry considered the causes and what action should be taken to address the problem.”
Indeed the Select Committee sitting in April 2016 considered in the same session “research into name-based discrimination in recruitment as showing that applicants with white British-sounding names are 29 percentage points more likely to be discriminated against”.
This aspect of discrimination is the focus of an investigation by the BBC News documentary, Inside Out, where I commented on the evidential difficulties of bringing a claim for discrimination in the selection process and the financial prohibitions. However, that is not to say that such claims are not being launched, I provided an example of a Claimant, who I act for, who provides his account of how he knew that he had been discriminated against in the selection process and now makes this claim against a local authority employer.
I also explored in commentary my own experiences of the increased number of discrimination claims from Muslims seeking rights of prayer at work, rights to Muslim clothing, and the right to take time off for religious holidays, which can worsen with political and social events. I expect to see increased discrimination because of President Trumps recent ‘protectionist policies’ concerning Immigration.
However, these are distractions from the main point of the investigation that Muslims are suffering from unprecedented discrimination in obtaining Employment.
Nabila appeared on the Inside Out London on BBC1 at 7.30 on the 6th February 2017. Visit http://bbc.in/2jVuwKc to watch the documentary.
She was also interviewed by Karin Giannone of BBC World News and for BBC London Live during the Drive Time Show on the 6th February 2017.