The head of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) has called for the Government to take action to reduce the amount of discrimination based on class which exists in the workplace.
Speaking at the annual TUC conference Frances O’Grady lead calls for proposals to be introduced in a bid to tackle the discrimination faced by many working-class employees.
Among those proposals, she said firms should be forced to report any gaps in pay between workers from different social backgrounds, as research had revealed that graduates from wealthier families were more than twice as likely earn a higher starting salary than their working-class colleagues
The TUC head claimed in her speech that the UK was wasting talent and skills because working-class people were shut out of opportunities.
Ms O’Grady said: “It’s hard to rise by hard graft and talent alone. The system is rigged from the start. Where you come from, what your parents do, your accent, which school you went to. If you’re from a working-class family, the odds are stacked against you,”
The TUC believes that without new laws those from working-class backgrounds will continue to face direct discrimination in the workplace, including employer bias during job applications and interviews, as well as indirect discrimination such as the use of unpaid internships as a gateway to roles.
Ms O’Grady also took time to address the modern-day definition of what working-class means. She said: “Today’s working-class looks like modern Britain. You are as likely to work in an office as a factory, to be a care assistant, as a car worker, and to wear a hijab, as a football shirt, or, quite possibly, both.”