Ethnic and gender monitoring should be carried out when public bodies axe jobs to prevent planned spending cuts having a disproportionate impact on minority communities, Labour leadership candidate Diane Abbott said today.
Ms Abbott warned that a "last in, first out" approach to redundancies would hit black and female workers particularly hard and could set back race relations by a generation, risking "instability" in society.
She called for new requirements for local councils, Government agencies and quangos to be "mindful" of the race and gender distribution of any job losses they are planning as they respond to Treasury demands for large cuts in their budgets.
Ms Abbott told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Black (people) and ethnic minorities are predominantly employed in the public sector, particularly women.
"My concern is that the progress black and ethnic minority workers have made in employment is relatively recent and if there have to be big cuts, it will be 'last in, first out' and these cuts will fall disproportionately not just on women but on black and ethnic minority workers.
"I think that is a thing which could lead to a degree of instability."
Asked what action she would like to see taken, Ms Abbott said: "You could make local authorities, Government, quangos mindful by making them monitor the gender and ethnic distribution of people losing their jobs.
"I think the public sector cuts have the potential to set back race relations and black and ethnic minority communities by a generation."Reuse content