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Policy Area 3: The Labour Market


Studies have shown that Muslims encounter discrimination at all levels of recruitment, retainment and progression; face high levels of unemployment; and are disproportionately confined to unskilled professions or jobs with limited opportunities for progression.[1] The Government’s Social Mobility Commission cited a number of barriers to success for Muslims in the employment sphere, including ethnic minority sounding names being less likely to be offered interviews and Muslims feeling forced to work “10 times as hard” as their white counterparts in order to achieve equivalent levels of success.[2] Meanwhile, Muslim women face a triple penalty in the employment sphere due to being women, being from an ethnic minority background, and for being Muslim.

Policy Pledges:

  1. Commit to tackling religious, racial and gendered discrimination in the workplace through targeted interventions at all stages of recruitment, retention and promotion.
  2. Commit to the use of name-blind applications and targeted interventions within employment aimed at tackling the triple penalty and improving access to employment for British Muslim women specifically.

Commit to supporting employers to recognise and accommodate religious festivals and religious observance within the workplace, including the provision of halal meat, prayer rooms, and flexible work hours during Ramadan.

[1] Roger Dobson, British Muslims face worst job discrimination of any minority group, according to research”, Independent, November 30, 2014, accessed June 12, 2018, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/british-muslims-face-worst-job-discrimination-of-any-minority-group-9893211.html.

[2] Anushka Asthana, “Islamophobia Holding Back UK Muslims in Workplace, Study Finds,” The Guardian, September 07, 2017, accessed May 10, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/sep/07/islamophobia-holding-back-uk-muslims-in-workplace-study-finds.

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