• Sunday, Jul 12, 2020
  • Last Update : 01:43 am

Ethnicity pay gap: Bangladeshi workers lowest paid in UK

  • Published at 04:11 pm July 10th, 2019
Worker-London
A worker looks at their phone as they walk past The Gherkin, Lloyds, and other office buildings in the City of London, Britain November 13, 2018 Reuters

Bangladeshi and Pakistani workers earned 20.2% and 16.9% per hour including overtime less than their White British colleagues in 2018, while Black, African, Caribbean or Black British workers’ hourly pay was 9.2% less

Bangladeshi workers have lowest hourly pay in UK, earning around a fifth less than White British employees, according to new figures revealing the extent of the ethnicity pay gap, reports The Guardian.

The Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) analysis of pay data found many South Asian workers were significantly worse off than those from other ethnic backgrounds. Bangladeshi and Pakistani workers earned 20.2% and 16.9% per hour including overtime less than their White British colleagues in 2018, while Black, African, Caribbean or Black British workers’ hourly pay was 9.2% less.

This meant the median hourly wage for a Bangladeshi worker was £9.60, compared with £12.03 for a White British employee.

However, White British workers did not received the highest average hourly wage: those from a Chinese background earned 30.9% more than White British staff followed by Indian workers, who earned 12% more per hour. Chinese workers earned £15.75 an hour last year, on average.

The ONS used Annual Population Survey data to calculate the difference between the average hourly earnings of 10 broad ethnic groups.

For instance, the difference for the Bangladeshi ethnic group compared with white British workers was 3.1% among 16- to 30-year-olds but 27.9% for those over 30 Guardian

People aged 16 to 30 from ethnic minority groups tended to have narrower pay gaps than older ethnic minority groups. For instance, the difference for the Bangladeshi ethnic group compared with white British workers was 3.1% among 16- to 30-year-olds but 27.9% for those over 30.

The ONS said this could mean second-generation migrants were performing better than their parents in terms of pay or it could point to earnings progression varying between different ethnic groups.

Women in the Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic groups were significantly less likely to be in the labour force than those in other ethnic groups. The ONS suggested this could be a result of “cultural differences” as 38.1% of women from a Bangladeshi ethnic group and 32.1% of women from a Pakistani ethnic group were found to be inactive because they were looking after their family or home.

Dr Zubaida Haque, the deputy director of the Runnymede Trust race equality thinktank, said: “The key message is your race still dictates how much you get paid in this country. It goes against our values of social mobility and equality of opportunity. The problem is that as well as getting companies to publish the gap you have to legally ask them to publish plans as to how they are going to close that gap. Otherwise, to be honest, nothing’s going to happen.”

Haque said she had reservations about the ONS’s methodology but welcomed the fact it had addressed the issue and urged the government to swiftly implement mandatory ethnic pay gap reporting, as mooted by Theresa May last year.

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