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Non-white workers miss out on billions in wages

BLACK and South Asian workers in Britain are missing out on billions of pounds a year in pay, new research revealed today.

The “ethnic pay gap” could be as much as £3.2 billion per year, analysis by the Resolution Foundation think tank suggests.

The Foundation is now urging ministers to force large companies to reveal how much less ethnic minority workers are earning.

New legislation has required companies with more than 250 staff to publish their gender pay gaps in a bid to challenge sex discrimination at work.

However, the government is yet to pass legislation that could highlight workplace racism. Labour’s 2017 manifesto called for the data to be published.

Research and policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation Kathleen Henehan said: “After the successful steps taken to expose and tackle the gender pay gap in 2018, we now need greater accountability on the ethnic pay gap in 2019.

“The government can make this happen by requiring large firms to report their BAME pay gaps alongside the reporting they’re already doing on gender. The results should give firms an extra incentive to tackle these issues.”

The Foundation says 1.9 million black, Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi employees in Britain are suffering from a “pay penalty” compared to white colleagues who earn more for the same job.

A rapid rise in the proportion of BAME graduates has also not been enough to secure equal pay, their researchers found.

It appears that black male graduates actually face “the biggest pay penalties of all groups included in the research, with an average penalty of £3.90 an hour.”

Among non-graduates, Pakistani and Bangladeshi men were the hardest hit, missing out on £1.91 an hour.

“Such a loss represents a huge blow to the living standards of those affected,” the Foundation said.

It is estimated that just 3 per cent of firms publish their ethnic pay gaps voluntarily.

One of the most high-profile employers to reveal its data was ITN, which makes news for ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5.

It found that non-white workers earned 21 per cent less per hour than their white colleagues.

A government spokesperson said it was “currently consulting on proposals for mandatory ethnicity pay reporting.”

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