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Employers must publish their ethnicity pay gap figures

12 October 2020

As the latest Office for National Statistics figures showed that the median hourly pay for white people was £12.40 per hour compared with £12.11 for those from a black and minority ethnic (BME) background – a pay gap of 2.3 per cent with significant regional variations, including a figure of 23.8 per cent in London  --  the NUJ joined the TUC in calling for mandatory publication of company ethnicity pay gap figures. 

Natasha Morris, NUJ senior legal & equalities officer, said:

“The UK media is 94 per cent white and in TV only 8 per cent of senior roles are held by BME people. The ONS figures show that BME workers are being routinely discriminated in the way they are paid compared to white colleagues. Companies must be forced to acknowledge their own record on payment of BME workers and freelances and made to put in train plans to eliminate the ethnicity pay gap.” 

Frances O’Grady, TUC general secretary, said:

“Even today structural and individual racism still plays a role in determining pay and life chances. And coronavirus has exposed beyond any doubt the huge inequalities BME people face at work.  BME men and women are overrepresented in undervalued, low-paid and casual jobs, with fewer rights and no sick pay. During the pandemic many of them have paid for these poor working conditions with their lives. Ministers must take bold action to confront inequality and racism in the labour market. And the obvious first step is to introduce mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting without delay.”    

The NUJ’s George Viner Memorial Fund has provided bursaries and support for almost 200 young people from minority ethnic backgrounds, many of whom have gone to successful careers and are now well-known and respected journalists. 

The ONS ethnicity pay gaps, 2019 report found that the Bangladeshi (£10.58 per hour) and Pakistani (£10.55 per hour) ethnic groups had some of the widest positive pay gaps, respectively earning 15.3% and 15.5% less than White British employees (£12.49 per hour). Those found to earn more included: White Irish by 40.5% (£17.55 per hour), Chinese by 23.1% (£15.38 per hour) and Indian by 15.5% (£14.43 per hour). 

Tags: , equality, black members' council, pay gap, bame, ethnicity pay gap, george viner memorial fund, tuc, ons, Office for National Statistics, racism, discrimination, covid-19