Friday, April 10, 2009

Closing the Race Pay Gap

At work yesterday I was raising the question of the race pay gap with my employer. It’s only where monitoring data is sufficiently comprehensive that it is possible to be certain about this – but the figure of 15% as the mean full time equivalent “race pay gap” in one London local authority is not a million miles away from the 12% gap found for lecturers in 2002 or the 17% gap for solicitors found last year. These are large figures.

A 15% pay gap means that the average black employee has to work for more than two months extra in order to earn the same as the annual average for a white employee.

The Ethnic Minority Employment Taskforce – in 2004 – found an economy wide gap of 7%. Recent Government research demonstrates the diversity of pay inequity between different groups in the wider economy and the interaction of gender and race inequality in earnings. There is therefore a lot more work to do in order to understand how organisations which proclaim equality of opportunity, and set pay rates on the basis of job evaluation can still have such enormous race pay gaps.

I hope that UNISON will now start collating information on the race pay gaps of major employers across London so that we can try to drive these gaps down and eliminate this pernicious inequality. The employers love to set us performance targets. On this issue we need to set some for them.

1 comment:

Nick Venedi said...

Very good work Jon. Interesting that the government has set up rules about breaching the pay gap between men and women, and correctly so, but has done little to legislate and take action to deal with the immense inequality in this field.

Nick Venedi