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Ethnic minority pay lag revealed at accountancy giant: your rights explained

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18/09/2017
Black, Asian and other ethnic minority staff who work at accountancy giant PwC earn almost 13% less than other employees, according to the firm’s own figures. We explain your pay rights.

The group voluntarily publishes its statistics and said ethnic minority workers tended to be paid less because more of them worked in administrative and junior roles.

PwC is one of an increasing number of employers, including the BBC, publishing salary data. It said publication was designed to speed up progress on the issue.

Reporting on ethnic minority pay isn’t required under government regulations at the moment. Reporting on the gender pay gap became compulsory in April of this year. Employers with 250 employees or more have 12 months from April of this year to reveal the discrepancies between male and female pay.

PwC said its gender pay gap for 2017 was 13.7%, down from 15.2% in 2016.

A separate report from the Low Pay Commission found that women still make up the majority of workers whose employers fail to pay them the minimum wage.

The Commission’s figures suggest that two thirds of underpaid workers are female. They also make up the majority of those who receive the minimum wage.

What are your rights on pay?

The Equality Act 2010 protects you against discrimination on the grounds of:

• Age
• Disability
• Gender reassignment
• Marriage and civil partnership
• Pregnancy and maternity
• Race
• Religion or belief
• Sex
• Sexual orientation.

It also protects you in the following circumstances

• When you are in the workplace
• When you use public services like health care (e.g. visiting your GP or local hospital) or education (e.g. your school or college)
• When you use businesses and other organisations that provide services and goods (like shops, restaurants, and cinemas)
• When you use transport
• When you join a club or association (e.g. your local tennis club); and
• When you have contact with public bodies like your local council or government departments.

Mediation group ACAS said employers must give men and women equal treatment in the terms and conditions of their employment contract if they are employed to do:

• ‘Like work’ – work that is the same or broadly similar
• Work rated as equivalent under a job evaluation study
• Work found to be of equal value in terms of effort, skill or decision making.

If you think your employer is not paying you equally, ACAS recommends writing to your employer asking for information that will help establish whether there is a pay difference and if so, the reasons for the difference.

It added: “If an employee cannot resolve the problem informally or through the formal grievance procedure, they may complain to an employment tribunal under the Equality Act 2010 while still working in the job or up to six months after leaving the employment to which the claim relates.”

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