Racism, Discrimination and Poor Conditions Face Roma in the Workplace – Research Shows
Home > News > Racism, Discrimination and Poor Conditions Face Roma in the Workplace – Research Shows
First-time research, led by Pavee Point Traveller & Roma Centre in partnership with Maynooth University, and carried out by Roma peer researchers reveals the harsh reality of Roma employment in Ireland.
“This research shows that many Roma face
significant inequalities in the workplace and actions are needed within the
private and public sector to stop racism, discrimination, and possible
exploitation,” said Jenny Liston, Coordinator of Pavee Point’s Roma Programme
who helped to co-ordinate the research project.
Dr Ciara Bradley, Lead Researcher with Maynooth
University said, “Many Roma highlighted their poor working conditions – not
being paid properly, precarious hours, and risking injury where safety
protocols weren’t followed.”
“Some Roma cannot access pre-employment supports,
they cannot access additional supports that improve quality of life for example
housing payments, Child Benefit or Community Employment schemes. This results
in a lack of a safety net for many Roma – they must take whatever work is
interviewees were not identifiable as Roma, they found it easier to access and
remain in employment, states the research. However, where they
were unable to hide their identity as Roma, they experienced significant racism
and found it difficult to access or remain in employment – this impacted Roma
women in particular.
“So, I always wear jeans or put my hair down and
made myself look more not Roma, so that I can be treated equally on the
interview and not be judged for my ethnicity,” said one Roma woman interviewee.
Vanessa Paszkowska, Roma peer researcher said “The
research showed some improvements for young Roma who like me were born or
raised in Ireland – however this wasn’t across the board. Where families
experienced unemployment, poverty and racism and where educational opportunities
could not be accessed there were limited opportunities for young people”.
The research makes a number of policy
recommendations for targeted supports for Roma and recommendations for the
workplace, including the Workplace Relation Inspectorate to conduct targeted
inspections of certain sectors.
Pavee Point peer researcher Rudolf Simonic said: “This is the first time that research of this kind has taken place and it really shines a light on the problems facing Roma in the workplace. We hope these experiences can be considered in the promised Traveller and Roma Employment and Training Plan committed to in the Programme for Government”.