In November 2023, the ONS updated their Ethnicity Pay Gap data, which covered 2012 – 2022. On their summary page, they note the following;
- Black, African, Caribbean or Black British employees earned less (£13.53) median gross hourly pay than White employees (£14.35), which has been consistent since 2012.
- Country of birth had an impact on how much employees earned: UK-born Black, African, Caribbean or Black British employees earned more (£15.18), while non-UK-born Black British employees earned less (£12.95) when compared with UK-born White employees (£14.26).
- After holding personal and work characteristics constant, to provide an adjusted pay gap based on a like-for-like comparison, we find that UK-born White employees earn more on average than most ethnic minority employees.
- When adjusting for pay-determining characteristics, we see the pay gap narrow and in some instances reverse: for example, UK-born Black, African, Caribbean or Black British employees, move from earning 6.5% more to earning 5.6% less compared with White employees.
- When looking at the cumulative effect of pay-determining characteristics, the factors that had the greatest impact were occupation, qualifications, geography, age and sex.
The first thing that struck me was, that the pay gap figures for Black, African, Caribbean or Black British employees had not changed since 2012. In conversations with the CEO of Spktral Anthony Horrigan, he indicated that the ONS figures may not necessarily be a precise reflection, nevertheless, it is concerning.
On Ethnicity Pay Gap Day, 8th January 2024, the Guardian reported on research by Fawcett Society, identifying that their analysis showed there is a 14.7% pay gap between women of Bangladeshi and Pakistani heritage and white British women. Compared with white British men, the figure is 28.4%.
- 5.6%: How much more UK white workers earn on average than their black counterparts (ONS)
- £24bn ($30.4bn): The potential UK economic boost from BAME pay equity (gov.uk)
It is also important to note that pay gaps exist between ethnicities, making assessment challenging but not insurmountable.
I am sure that many of you have heard me say, it is not just about the data. What the data does highlight, however, is there is a discriminatory practice that is being allowed to continue because of inaction from those who can bring about change. We are living in a time of austerity, and an atmosphere of racial tension due to the poor behaviours of people who should be uniting us not trying to divide us.
It is possible to cite live examples of situations where the Ethnicity Pay Gap has caused demonstrable challenges The Impact of The Ethnicity Pay Gap on Black Women. Only yesterday, I had a conversation with a Black woman who evidenced to me that for years she has been paid significantly less than her white colleagues for doing the same job.
I think there is enough evidence here for people to take action to make a difference. I would further suggest that you attend the Ethnicity Pay Gap Summit on 9th February 2024 which Lloyds of London will be hosting. This will be an educational and supportive environment to harnice positive discussion, giving you takeaways that you can implement in your organisation.