A recent piece of research has concluded that, when it comes to securing a job in retail, social class can play a massive role.

According to the CV-Library study, which assessed the opinions of 2,000 working people and 300 employers from around the UK, almost two in three people (63 per cent) believe that social class can stop some people from securing new jobs, but can give other people a massive helping hand.

Those who speak with a regional accent believe that they can often struggle to get through the interview process because employers look down on them simply due to their voice, while people from more affluent areas – the home counties, for example – seem to be able to secure retail work far easier.

Discrimination in the workplace

The results of the research are, to put it bluntly, concerning. A staggering three out of every four of the employees (73 per cent) asked said that they believe they have been discriminated against simply because of their perceived class, while almost half (47 per cent) are of the opinion that an employer will look down on them if they are from a part of the country that is not regarded as being particularly well off.

Similarly, a whopping 40 per cent think that an employee is likely to look down on them simply because of the school or university they attended, regardless of the degree or qualifications they have.

And this becomes even more astonishing when looking at the views of the employers themselves. According to CV Library’s research, nine out of every ten employers (90 per cent) say that they often make decisions about candidates based solely on their accent, while 36 per cent admit to having judged potential employees on their social class alone.

Breaking down the research

Let’s take a closer look at the research.

According to the results, people who live in the North East – specifically Newcastle – are the most likely to feel as though an employer is going to discriminate against them because of their social class. Meanwhile, when it comes to how employees sound, people in Scotland are the most likely to feel as though they are going to be judged harshly.

So, what can be done to stop this? A massive 70 per cent of the employees interviewed believe that there should be laws put in place that will stop employers from being able to make decisions based on the way an individual speaks or their upbringing, with 61 per cent of employers agreeing that this is something that should be done.

However, at the time of writing, it remains to be seen whether anything will be done to directly tackle this issue.