Many black, Asian and minority ethnic women have already stopped earning two months before Equal Pay Day on 18 November compared to the average male worker, a new analysis by the Labour party has revealed.
In the wake of the findings, the party has urged the government to take urgent action on racial inequality, including through the introduction of mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting, a statement said.
According to ONS figures, black Caribbean women earn 18 per cent less on average than men, making Wednesday 26 October Equal Pay Day for Black Caribbean women.
The gap is even wider for black African, Pakistani and Bangladeshi women, with Equal Pay Day for Black African women falling on 27 September (a 26 per cent pay gap), Bangladeshi women on 19 September (a 28 per cent gap) and Pakistani women falling on 8 September (a 31 per cent gap).
The Fawcett Society marked 18 November as Equal Pay Day in 2021. On that day, average woman stopped earning when compared to the average male worker due to the gender pay gap.
Anneliese Dodds, Labour’s Shadow Women and Equalities Secretary, called on the government to back Labour’s policy of introducing mandatory ethnicity pay reporting for companies with over 250 employees.
She also sought assurances that full datasets will be regularly published. In 2018, the government consulted on introducing ethnicity pay reporting, but has now said it will now not move forward with the policy.
“The pay gap for all women is already bad enough; disturbingly, these figures show it’s even worse for many Black, Asian and minority ethnic women,” said Dodds MP.
“It’s no surprise that so many Black women are struggling with the cost of living crisis when many earn a fifth less than men. Coupled with recent TUC research which shows that black, Asian and minority ethnic people are significantly more likely to be working in insecure jobs, it is clear that this Tory government has completely failed to get a grip on racial inequality.
“Labour is the only party committed to eliminating racial inequality through a new Race Equality Act and mandating large companies to publish their ethnicity pay gap. That is how we will deliver a fairer future for everyone, regardless of their background.”
Baroness Doreen Lawrence, chair of the Labour party’s Race Equality Act Taskforce, said: “Two years ago I highlighted the systemic inequality which led to Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities being disproportionately impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. These figures provide further shocking evidence of those inequalities.
“Labour’s Race Equality Act will take the urgent action needed to tackle racial inequality across our society, including introducing mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting and better data collection.”
Early this year, the women and equalities select committee (WEC) asked the government to introduce mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting by April 2023 for all organisations that currently report for gender.
The government refused to do so citing ‘significant statistical and data issues’ as the reason.
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