The first analysis of the ethnicity pay gaps in Great Britain was released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in July 2019. The ONS’ analysis of pay data shows that many south Asian workers were significantly worse off than those from other ethnic backgrounds.
Bangladeshi workers lowest paid in the UK and Chinese workers are highest
Bangladeshi workers and Pakistani workers earned 20.2% and 16.9% per hour less than their White British colleagues in 2018, while Black, African, Caribbean and Black British workers’ hourly pay was 9.2% less.
This meant that the median hourly wage for a Bangladeshi worker was £9.60, compared with £12.03 for a White British employee.
However, White British workers did not received the highest average hourly wage: those from a Chinese background earned 30.9% more than White British staff followed by Indian workers, who earned 12% more per hour. Chinese workers earned £15.75 an hour last year, on average.
Ethnicity pay consultation
In October 2018, The Prime Minister announced the launch of a new ethnicity pay consultation, designed to consider whether obligatory reporting would help with addressing disparities in both career prospects and pay between white workers and their black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) colleagues.
Consultation for employers
It is said that mandatory reporting would remove barriers faced by underrepresented groups in employment, which would help to allow BAME workers to progress in their careers and reach their full potential ‘regardless of their background’.
However, the consultation document explains that the purpose of reporting would not just be about social justice. It explains: ‘We know that companies with diverse workforces perform better and are more profitable.’
Feedback provided by employers and other organisations regarding their views on what ethnicity pay information should be reported in order to allow meaningful action, and who should be expected to report and next steps – is currently being analysed.
Further HR Guidance
- Free Webinar – Watch on Demand: watch our recent webinar ‘The 4 Types of Discrimination’. In this HR webinar recording, we introduce the nine protected characteristics and the four main types of discrimination to help you as an employer to understand how discrimination can occur. We will also take a brief look at when it is possible for discrimination to be lawful. After watching the webinar, you should feel better equipped to hold an informed conversation about the discrimination and hopefully better able to consider how to prevent it in the first place.
- Article: read our recent article ‘The 4 Types of Descrimination, What Every Employer Needs to Know’.
- Statistics: For recently released statistics, by the Office of National Statistics, view the report ‘Ethnicity pay gaps in Great Britain 2018‘.
- Consultation: For more information on the ethnicity pay reporting consultation visit www.gov.uk/government/consultations/ethnicity-pay-reporting.