Ethnicity at work


Purpose – 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 the job and organizational characteristics and “macro” level factors related to local area characteristics. Design/methodology/approach – 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.

Findings – 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 the 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. 

Originality/value – 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: An International Journal. 33 (2): 177-192.

Image credit: Siora Photography –

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Professor of Health and Social Care Policy, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK

Shereen Hussein is a Professor of Health and Social Care Policy at the Department of Health Services Research and Policy (HSRP) at the LSHTM. She is a Co-Director of the PRUComm policy research unit. She is also an Honorary Professor at the University of Kent and King’s College London in the UK and the University of Southern Queensland in Australia.

Shereen is a demographer with expertise in labour-migration, sociology and economics. Her primary research revolves around ageing, family dynamics, migration and long-term care. Shereen has previously worked with the United Nations, the Population Council, the World Bank, and the League of Arab States. Her current research focuses on ageing demographics, long term care demand and migration within the UK and Europe and the implications on policy and practice.

Shereen has conducted extensive research on population ageing and its impact on long term care and health policy and practices in the UK, internationally and in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. She has contributed to recent United Nations’ policy response to ageing in the region through collaboration with UN-ESCWA and directly providing expert consultations to several countries in the region including Turkey, Oman and Egypt. Shereen leads many large research projects on ageing and long-term care in the UK and contributes to a large project addressing responses to dementia in developing countries STRiDE. Shereen is the founder and lead of the MENARAH network.

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Director of Analytical Research Ltd, and Affiliate Research Fellow, Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Mohamed is trained in engineering (MEng – Cairo University), computer science (MSc – Cairo University) and mathematical finance (MSc – CASS Business School, University of London). Mohamed started his career in in the City of London in 1990s, working as a quantitative analyst for leading global financial organisations, such as Merrill Lynch, HSBC, Mizuho and Credit Suisse, before he began to shift his focus onto quantitative social research. Since 2009, he has worked as an independent researcher in the field of social sciences with a particular drive to make use of different statistical and mathematical modelling techniques for the analysis of large and multi-dispersed data sets.

He has worked with universities in the UK, Europe, Australia and the Middle East; publishing a number of peer-reviewed articles. He has also been invited to give talks and presentations at several leading universities and organisations. His current research interests focus on exploring the potential role of mathematical dynamical systems in the field of population ageing across health and social care. Mohamed is the Director of Analytical Research ltd and an affiliate at the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, University of Oxford.