Black and ethnic minority workers continue to face significant pay penalties

Almost all black and ethnic minority (BAME) groups of workers face significant pay penalties in the workforce, despite huge labour market progress in recent decades, the Resolution Foundation said today (Tuesday) in response to the latest ONS data on BAME pay gaps.

The new ONS data supports recent Resolution Foundation research, which found that BAME workers face significant pay gaps, which continue to hold even after accounting for workers’ characteristics, such as their skills, experience, age and the types of jobs they do.

The Foundation notes that Britain’s 1.9 million black, Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi employees are experiencing an annual pay penalty (pay gaps that control for workers’ characteristics) of £3.2bn.

The ONS data shows that almost all BAME groups face significant pay penalties, with the exception of UK-born Chinese workers. It also shows that UK-born ethnic minorities face far smaller pay penalties than those born overseas.

Kathleen Henehan, Policy Analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said:

“Black and ethnic minority workers have made huge strides over recent decades in terms of educational attainment and rising employment.

“But despite this, almost all BAME groups continue to face significant pay gaps, compared to white workers. What’s more, these pay penalties hold even after accounting for workers’ qualifications, experience and the types of jobs they do.

“Having made significant progress on shining a light on gender pay gaps within firms though equal pay audits, the government should now extend this to look at pay gaps for BAME workers too.”