Ethnicity at work: the case of British minority workers in the long-term care sector

Shereen Hussein (Social Care Workforce Research Unit, King's College London, London, UK)
Jill Manthorpe (Social Care Workforce Research Unit, King's College London, London, UK)
Mohamed Ismail (Analytical Research Ltd, Surrey, UK)

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

ISSN: 2040-7149

Publication date: 4 February 2014



The aim of this paper is to explore the effect of ethnicity and separate this from the other dynamics associated with migration among members of the long-term care workforce in England focusing on the nature and structure of their jobs. The analysis examines interactions between ethnicity, gender, and age, and their relations with “meso” factors related to job and organizational characteristics and “macro” level factors related to local area characteristics.


The paper analyses new national workforce data, the National Minimum Data Set for Social Care (NMDS-SC), n=357,869. The paper employs descriptive statistical analysis and a set of logistic regression models.


The results indicate that labour participation of British black and minority ethnic (BME) groups in long-term care work is much lower than previously believed. There are variations in nature of work and possibly job security by ethnicity.

Research limitations/implications

While the national sample is large, the data were not purposively collected to examine differentials in reasons to work in the care sector by different ethnicity.

Practical implications

The analysis highlights the potential to actively promote social care work among British BME groups to meet workforce shortages, especially at a time where immigration policies are restricting the recruitment of non-European Economic Area nationals.


The analysis provides a unique insight into the participation of British BME workers in the long-term care sector, separate from that of migrant workers.



Hussein, S., Manthorpe, J. and Ismail, M. (2014), "Ethnicity at work: the case of British minority workers in the long-term care sector", Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Vol. 33 No. 2, pp. 177-192.

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