Around 460,000 black and minority ethnic women are out of the labour market because of their unpaid caring responsibilities, new research suggests.
The TUC said its study found that BME women aged in their 30s were hardest hit because of the pressures of looking after their family and a lack of flexible childcare and accessible social care.
Women in the ethnic groups were 12 times more likely than men to be out of the labour market due to caring commitments, according to the TUC.
At every age, women were more likely than men to be out of the labour market because of unpaid caring commitments, with BME women most likely to be in this position, the union organisation said.
TUC general secretary Paul Nowak said: “Women shouldn’t have to give up or cut down on paid work because they can’t find or afford the right care for their children or older or disabled relatives.
“But too many BME women who’d like to be in work are excluded from the jobs market because of their caring commitments.
“Once women leave paid work, they often take that financial hit for the rest of their lives. It’s a key driver of the gender pay gap – and it’s clear it is contributing to a big number of BME households living on the poverty line.
“We desperately need more flexible childcare for all families, that works around shifts, weekend work and irregular working patterns, to support women who want to work.”
Published: by Radio NewsHub