Pay Gap

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2019 National Black Members' Conference
12 September 2018

Conference notes with concern that despite efforts to bring further equality into society, evidence shows that Black workers are still being held back in the work place. Inequalities in employment and income persist and under the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) there is no legislation that states that Employers should publish and report on such differentials in pay amongst the workforce outside of gender. It is crucial that under the PSED Employers should also publish differentials in pay in relation to Black workers compared to white workers. It is acknowledged that in Scotland and Wales there is some requirement to publish such data.

A report recently published by the Equality and Human Rights Commission titled, ‘Healing a divided Britain: the need for a comprehensive race equality strategy’,

highlighted that the number of Black workers in low-paid jobs increased by 12.7 percent between 2011 and 2014, compared with a 1.8 percent increase for white workers.

The report also shows that the number of Black Workers holding senior posts remains low, with only 8.8% working as managers, directors and senior officers.

Other analyses show that inequalities in pay between Black and white workers continue to exist and remain largely unrelated to Black people’s qualifications. While Black education attainment has improved, these gains have not translated into improved outcomes in employment.

The pay gap between white and Black workers is at its widest for those with university degrees. Analysis of official statistics (by the TUC) shows that Black workers with degrees earn 23.1 percent less on average than White workers with degrees.

In addition, Black people who leave school with GCSEs typically get paid 11.4 percent less than their white peers. The pay gap between white workers and Black workers, regardless of their educational attainment, is 5.6 percent .

Black workers are over represented in low paid jobs. This trend has risen steadily over time. Overall, Black workers receive lower pay than white people. In 2013, this was at an average pay of less than £10 per hour.

Conference notes that our union continues to challenge employers to ensure decent pay for all workers and that employment opportunities are available to Black workers on equal pay basis for equivalent work. However, it is clear that inequality exists in pay and opportunities, resulting in lower work-related incomes for Black workers.

In addition, it is noted that there is a differential between Black members in terms of a pay gap – Black African, Caribbean, Pakistani and Bangladeshi workers are more disadvantaged in the Labour market therefore there is a greater level of detail required when publishing and reporting on this issue.

As rampant inequalities still exist, there is a continuing need to fight it. In addition to the work UNISON is doing to ensure there is reduced inequality in the workplace, it is important that all employers are transparent in how they are tackling inequalities in their organisations between Black and white workers.

Conference ask the National Black Members Committee to:

1)Work with National Labour Link to lobby MPs to extend the requirements for gender equality reporting to include black workers, this should include:

a)Employers publish a breakdown of their employees’ ethnic origin including a reflection of the proportional representation of Black workers at all levels;

b)In cases where employers pay bonuses to their employees, ensure that they disclose average bonuses paid to Black and White workers;

c)Ensure that part of the published information on employees provides details on training opportunities that have been provided to Black workers so that they can compete for jobs that pay better and increase their participation in the higher grades;

d)Ensure that published information also highlights strategies to redress inequalities between Black and white workers in their organisations.

2) Produce guidance that Regional Black Members Groups can use to encourage employers to carry out the points as set out in points – a, b, c and d as above.