A worker leaves the Barclays Plc headquarters in the Canary Wharf business, financial and shopping district of London, U.K. (Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg)  

U.K.'s Underpaid Ethnic Minority Workers Lose $4 Billion a Year

(Bloomberg) -- Black, Asian and minority ethnic workers in Britain are losing out on 3.2 billion pounds ($4 billion) a year because they are paid less than their white counterparts, according to the Resolution Foundation.

A study by the London-based think tank published Thursday found that even after controlling for differences in qualification levels and the type of work, so-called BAME employees still face significant differences in their pay.

Among non-graduates, Pakistani and Bangladeshi men face the biggest gap at 1.91 pounds an hour, or 14 percent. For some graduates the difference was even larger, with black men earning 3.90 pounds an hour, or 17 percent, less.

The report comes as the government seeks views on what kind of ethnicity pay reporting should be demanded of employers. The consultation, which closes on Jan. 11, follows new requirements for firms with more than 250 employees to disclose the difference in average salary across their male and female workers.

“We now need greater accountability on the ethnic pay gap,” said Kathleen Henehan, research and policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation. “The government can make this happen by requiring large firms to report their BAME pay gaps alongside the reporting they’re already doing on gender. The results should give firms an extra incentive to tackle these issues.”

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