Black, Asian and ethnic minority public sector workers in London paid up to 37.5% less than white colleagues

Underneath capital's 'image of diversity' there are 'shocking levels of inequality'

May Bulman,Shafi Musaddique
Friday 02 March 2018 13:06 GMT
The latest report finds a “stark divide” but says a lack of ethnic minorities at senior level compounds the ethnic pay gap
The latest report finds a “stark divide” but says a lack of ethnic minorities at senior level compounds the ethnic pay gap (Getty)

Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) public sector workers in London were paid up to 37.5 per cent less than their white colleagues last year, new research shows.

Those in the Metropolitan Police earn up to 16 per cent less per hour than their white colleagues, a report by the Greater London Authority (GLA) found.

Transport for London which runs the capital’s network of tubes, trains and buses, has an ethnic pay gap of 9.8 per cent.

The highest level of inequality was at the Old Oak and the Park Royal Development Corporation, which runs a major redevelopment project in the north-west of the city, at 37.5 per cent.

The GLA itself, has its own ethnic pay gap of 16 per cent.

Campaigners said the figures showed that underneath the capital’s “image of diversity” there are “shocking levels of inequality”.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the figures were “deeply troubling”, adding that wanted to “confront this inequality".

But Dr Omar Khan, director of race equality think tank, the Runnymede Trust, said the study “uncovered London’s secret”.

Underneath the “image of diversity, in a city where over a third of its population is non-white, there are shocking levels of inequality”, he said. “This is caused by large employers failing to recruit and promote black and minority ethnic (BME) Londoners.

“We may now see the private sector overtaking the public sector, who have become far too complacent about racial diversity. Two in five Londoners are BMEs in their forties, which should be their peak earning potential, yet how many London organisations have two in five BME senior, or even middle, managers?"

He added: “Many private sector companies and consultancy firms set targets for change. It’s time for public bodies to catch up. Lack of action in the past means they need to be more radical, and that should involve more than graduate recruitment. It’s also about promoting BME talent to top positions.”

The report attributed the stark difference in pay to a lack of ethnic minorities in senior roles.

It also highlighted pay gaps between specific ethnic groups. Black Britons are paid up to 26 per cent less than their white counterparts in London’s public organisations, while British Asians are paid 16 per cent less.

In light of the report, Mr Khan said: “This sort of injustice takes many years to develop and it becomes deeply entrenched. My administration is finally beginning the process of turning this around.”

The Mayor also urged the Government to consider whether businesses should be legally required to publish their own ethnicity pay gaps.

The Government made it mandatory for businesses that employ at least 250 people to report their gender pay gaps last year.

Over 1,000 firms have made their gender pay gap figures public so far, with an estimated 8,000 yet to meet an April deadline.

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