Mayor of London vows to tackle ‘injustice’ of pay inequality

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has stepped up his fight against pay inequality in the capital by publishing for the first time ever comprehensive data on the pay gap affecting Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) employees for all organisations in the Greater London Authority (GLA) Group, making it among the first employers in the UK to do so.

Alongside this data, Sadiq has today revealed how he plans to tackle the ethnic pay gap across the organisations under his control – and called on other businesses and public bodies across the capital to follow suit.

Today’s data reveals a significant earnings difference between white people employed by the GLA Group and those from a BAME background.

The reason for this gap is not that BAME people are paid less to do the same job – it is because of an under-representation of BAME employees in senior roles. This is a similar problem to one that has been identified through the Mayor’s gender pay audit – which he published for the first time ever last year – that there are not enough women in senior roles.

The pay gap is particularly stark at the Metropolitan Police, the Greater London Authority itself and the two development corporations.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London is renowned throughout the world as a progressive and diverse city and that’s why it is important for me to publish City Hall’s first ever ethnicity pay audit. I have made sure all of the GLA group publishes an ethnicity pay audit – and the results should concern us all.

“I am pleased my administration is shining a light on an issue that has been hidden from sight for far too long. But this is just the beginning.

“I am deeply troubled that members of the Black Asian and minority ethnic community who work at these organisations earn on average less than their white counterparts, and I am determined to confront this inequality.

“This sort of injustice takes many years to develop and it becomes deeply entrenched. My administration is finally beginning the process of turning this around.

“We are determined to promote fairness for all workers, and remedy any unfair disadvantage against BAME people. Change cannot come soon enough.

“I’m urging all London’s public bodies and businesses to join me in doing what they can to right this injustice and calling on the Government to consider if it is appropriate to legislate to make ethnicity pay audits a legal requirement, as is the case for gender pay reporting.”

Ethnicity pay data published today for the GLA’s functional bodies reveal that white people and those of black, Asian and minority ethnic origin are paid, on average*, the following:

Greater London Authority

White employees: £23.93 per hour. BAME employees £20.17 – an ethnic pay gap of 16 per cent 

Transport for London

White employees: £27.97 per hour. BAME employees £25.23 – an ethnic pay gap of 9.8 per cent

Metropolitan Police Service

White employees: £21.35 per hour. BAME employees £17.98 – an ethnic pay gap of 16.7 per cent

Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime

White employees: £24.75 per hour. BAME employees £23.89 – an ethnic pay gap of 3.5 per cent

London Fire Brigade (including London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority)

White employees: £16.36 per hour. BAME employees £16.36 – an ethnic pay gap of 0 per cent

Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation

White employees: £26.81 per hour. BAME employees £16.75 – an ethnic pay gap of 37.5 per cent

London Legacy Development Corporation

White employees: £28.77 per hour. BAME employees £20.14 – an ethnic pay gap of 30 per cent

Deputy Mayor for Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement, Matthew Ryder QC, said: “The results of the GLA’s first-ever ethnicity pay audit are truly alarming and suggest serious inequality in pay and positions. It is also important to note that ‘BAME’ refers to a number of ethnic groups and the figures can be even more glaring for particular ethnic groups within that definition.

“It is wholly unacceptable in 2018, that those from BAME communities are likely to earn less, progress less and enjoy a poorer quality of life than their white counterparts. It’s vital that we take action now. This is not just about kind words and good intentions. Under the Mayor’s leadership we will take a fair and structured approach that focuses on ensuring real change. We encourage other businesses across the capital to do the same and will work with them to do so.”

Sandra Kerr OBE, Race Equality Director, Business in the Community, said: “Greater London Authority has taken a bold and positive step by publishing its first ethnicity pay audit, and I welcome the Mayor’s decision to do so. In particular I am pleased to see that the Mayor has also set out his plans to address the pay gap. Whilst monitoring and publishing data on BAME employees’ pay is critical for identifying any gaps, it must also be supported by action to close these gaps in order to truly have an impact.

“I also welcome the Mayor’s call for other employers to publish their own ethnicity pay gaps, as this will enable even more employers to create truly fair and inclusive workplaces for everyone. Last week Business in the Community launched our 2018 Race at Work survey, supported by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which includes new questions on monitoring and publishing pay data by ethnicity, and I encourage everyone to take part in their survey and share it with their friends, family and colleagues.

“This will help us to develop a true picture of the situation for BAME employees in London and across the UK, and will support recommendations for what steps employers can take to tackle these issues.”

The Mayor has taken immediate action to close the ethnic pay gap at City Hall. All recruitment is now completely anonymised – most recently removing names from applications in addition to other personal details which have long since been removed including gender and ethnicity. Unconscious bias training is also being rolled out across the organisation and a new Diversity and Inclusion Management Board, led by Head of Paid Service, Jeff Jacobs, has been established.

The Greater London Authority works with all its staff networks and is keen to establish a BAME Staff Network to help tackle under-representation within the organisation particularly at senior levels.

Last year the Mayor fulfilled a manifesto commitment by publishing a gender pay audit for organisations across the GLA family, including Transport for London (TfL) and the Metropolitan Police, along with changes to the GLA’s recruitment practices.

This data was published before it was a statutory obligation, showing how the Mayor is taking a lead to reduce inequality in the workplace. The Mayor will shortly be publishing the details of a further gender pay audit.


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