Commenting on the publication of ethnicity pay gap figures by the Office for National Statistics today (Monday), which show that the median hourly pay for white people was £12.40 per hour compared with £12.11 for those from a black and minority ethnic (BME) background – a pay gap of 2.3%, with significant regional variations, including a figure of 23.8% in London, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:
“The difficult reality is that even today structural and individual racism still plays a role in determining pay and life chances. And coronavirus has exposed beyond any doubt the huge inequalities BME people face at work.
“BME men and women are overrepresented in undervalued, low-paid and casual jobs, with fewer rights and no sick pay. During the pandemic many of them have paid for these poor working conditions with their lives.
“Enough is enough. Ministers must take bold action to confront inequality and racism in the labour market. And the obvious first step is to introduce mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting without delay.”
Last month TUC analysis revealed that BME people are far more likely to be in precarious work and in jobs with higher coronavirus mortality rates than white people, such as security guards, carers, nurses and drivers. And a TUC survey exposed daily experiences of racism for BME workers during the pandemic.
- The ONS statistics are available at: www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/earningsandworkinghours/articles/ethnicitypaygapsingreatbritain/2019
- The TUC analysis showing that BME workers are far more likely to be in precarious work and in jobs with higher coronavirus mortality rates than white people is available at: www.tuc.org.uk/news/bme-workers-have-been-asked-shoulder-more-risk-during-pandemic-says-tuc
- The TUC report Dying on the Job about BME workers’ experience of racism during the pandemic is available here: www.tuc.org.uk/sites/default/files/2020-06/Dying%20on%20the%20job%20final.pdf
- Last month the TUC launched a new antiracism task force. A group of senior leaders from across the trade union movement and civil society will investigate the systemic discrimination BME workers face. The group will be engaging with BME workers about the everyday racism they experience, particularly at work, and set out that action needed to address structural discrimination and disadvantage. The task force, led by NASUWT General Secretary Dr Patrick Roach, will then develop an action plan for change across UK workplaces, and within unions themselves.
- Information about the TUC’s BME pay gap is available at: www.tuc.org.uk/tucs-ethnicity-and-gender-pay-gap-2020A
- The Trades Union Congress (TUC) exists to make the working world a better place for everyone. We bring together more than 5.5 million working people who make up our 48 member unions. We support unions to grow and thrive, and we stand up for everyone who works for a living.
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