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Black and ethnic minority workers face £3.2bn pay gap

Black and ethnic minority workers face £3.2bn pay gap

Black and ethnic minority workers of both sexes have faced a pay gap of £3.2bn per year between 2007 and 2017, according to estimates from the Resolution Foundation.

The think tank's figures are based on black, Indian and Pakistani/Bangladeshi men and women with their average hourly pay penalty - the average difference in pay that persists after personal and work-related characteristics are accounted for - multiplied by their annual number of hours worked.

The figures are illustrative as the Equality and Human Rights Commission has previously found a mere 3 per cent of employers measured their disability and ethnicity pay gaps.

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But Kathleen Henehan, research and policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said in a blog post published yesterday (December 27) the figures represented "a very real pattern".

She wrote: "Despite substantial progress on educational attainment and employment rates, ethnic minority men and women of similar ages and education levels who were in similar jobs, industries and regions are paid billions of pounds less each year than their white counterparts."

Ms Henehan said universal measures like education, careers advice and access to high-skilled work could reduce unequal labour market outcomes.

However, the fact that such large penalties existed at all suggested there was real scope for black, Asian, and minority ethnic pay to rise without having to push down employment, she added.

Ms Henehan noted, however, progress on tackling pay injustices had already started.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy published a consultation asking whether there should be similar reports to gender pay gap by ethnicity in October. The consultation closes on January 11.

"We’ll be monitoring its progress in the hope that 2019 will see this issue pushed further into the open," Ms Henehan concluded.

maria.espadinha@ft.com