Abuse rises after Brexit vote

Written By: James Douglas
Published: April 7, 2017 Last modified: April 14, 2017

A TUC-commissioned poll has found that over a third (34%) of black, Asian or minority ethnic people (BAME) witnessed or experienced racial abuse in the seven months following last June’s Brexit vote.

The ICM/TUC survey of over 1,000 BAME working adults also found that since the referendum 19% of BAME people have suffered or witnessed racial assault, 41%  have heard racist remarks or opinions, 38% have seen racist material online, and 27% have seen racist graffiti, posters or leaflets.

The poll is part of a major TUC project to combat racism in the workplace, which will document the British BAME experience of racism and harassment, and set out ways to tackle it.

The TUC called on the government to: bring in rules about third-party harassment, which protect workers who deal with the public, such as shop workers, street cleaners and bus drivers, from abuse at work.

They should also develop a full race equality strategy, which includes tough action to crack down on harassment and discrimination at work, online and in everyday life make sure the Equalities and Human Rights Commission has enough funding to take more legal cases and make sure the law reflects how contemporary racism plays out; and make private sector companies responsible for promoting equal treatment throughout their activities just as public sector organisations already are.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Brexit has given racism a new lease of life. Discrimination has never gone away, but since the referendum racism has been on the rise. Anyone who has been harassed or mistreated at work should talk to their union rep or join a trade union. And we all have a responsibility to call out racist harassment wherever we see it.”