Muslim women ‘face job discrimination’ - Palmers Solicitors

Muslim women ‘face job discrimination’

Muslim women are much more likely to be unemployed than white Christian women, even when they have the same qualifications and language abilities, new research has revealed.

Dr Nabil Khattab from the University of Bristol told the British Sociological Association’s annual conference on 15 April that Muslim women were 71 per cent more likely than white Christian women to be unemployed, even when they had the same educational level and language skills. Hindu women were 57 per cent more likely to be unemployed than white Christian women.

Survey data showed that the unemployment rate among Muslim women was 18 per cent, compared with nine per cent for Hindu women and four per cent for white Christian women, he said.

Dr Khattab told the conference: “Economic activity among Muslim women in the UK remains considerably lower and their unemployment rate remains significantly higher than the majority group even after controlling for qualifications and other individual characteristics.”

He said that Muslim women’s high visibility was likely to be a key factor in explaining their exclusion, adding: “They wear the hijab or other religious symbols which makes them more visible and as such exposed to greater discrimination.”

Dr Khattab analysed data from three separate studies, adjusting for factors including education levels, fluency in English, marital status, whether the women had children and the strength of their religious belief.

He concluded Muslim women “have experienced greater unemployment, which can be attributed to discrimination in recruiting and hiring practices”.

The Equality Act 2010 provides protection against discrimination – in situations including at work, as a consumer, using a public service or buying or renting property – on grounds including age race, religion, sex or being children or having a child.

Employment tribunal awards in discrimination cases are uncapped and can be substantial. Last year, a former RAF nurse was awarded £557,039 after bringing a claim for sex discrimination against the Ministry of Defence over her non-promotion.

At Palmers, our employment law specialists can provide advice and representation to businesses and individuals on all discrimination-related issues. Our HR package also offers regularly updated sample policies for matters such as discrimination, to help maintain a productive working relationship between employers and employees and avoid disputes arising

For more information, please contact Lara Murray.