UK’s Race Pay Gap
A new study has found that ethnic minority workers in the capital’s public sector face a pay gap of up to 37%.The finding is not exactly surprising, but it is particularly depressing in this year, the 70th anniversary of Windrush and half a century since the 1968 Race Relations Act finally outlawed the infamous “no blacks, no Irish, no dogs” signs.
Across the UK, and particularly in London, racial diversity is nothing new. Yet a report last year from the Equality and Human Rights Commission found that “broadly speaking, in the period 1993-2014, there has been very little narrowing of ethnic pay gaps and for some groups they have actually increased, particularly among men”.
There is clearly discrimination in employment, with people with equivalent qualification but with African and Asian surnames having to send in twice as many CVs just to get an interview. Black and minority-ethnic people are also more likely to face disciplinary action and other decisions that most affect progression and pay.
An anonymous public-sector worker told TNT that, “people should be paid equally for the job that they are doing.
“Everybody is working hard. If you are putting in 110% as the person in the same role next to you, you should be paid equally for your effort.”
There’s no shortage of ideas on how to respond to these inequalities – from diverse recruitment panels to name-blind CVs.
No private companies have yet published ethnic pay gap figures, but it’s now clear that public bodies must do more. The Metropolitan police stood out with a 17% pay gap – the result of a severe lack of minority staff at senior levels.
Race equality needs to be prioritised. In 21st Britain, if an organisation can’t enable its own minority staff to progress, then it’s being badly managed.