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Association pays BAME employees less than white staff

IMBALANCE: L&Q is making its BAME/gender pay gaps public

ONE OF the country’s leading housing associations is aiming to reduce pay inequalities in the sector by publishing both gender and BAME pay gaps for the first time.

L&Q, a regulated charitable housing association and one of the UK’s largest independent social businesses, says its inaugural Fair Pay report demonstrates its commitment to diversity and equality.

All organisations with more than 250 staff have been required by law since April 2018 to produce gender pay reports.

But the association, which houses around 250,000 people across London and the South East, has today gone further and will now regularly report on ethnicity pay statistics.

The report shows the gender pay gap at L&Q is improving, while the BAME pay gap is smaller but still notable. Jan Gale, head of diversity and inclusion, said: “At L&Q we are proud to be leading the way with our approach to ensuring all staff are paid fairly for the job they do. We are delighted to be one of the first organisations within our sector to publicly report our BAME pay and bonus gaps.

“We believe by doing this we can be even more influential in tackling the gender and BAME imbalance when considering not only pay and reward, but also positions held at the top levels within our organisation. This is key in our drive to become a fully diverse and inclusive organisation.”

The gender pay gap is improving at L&Q and L&Q Living. The median pay gap is now 7.6 per cent at L&Q and 1.7 per cent at L&Q Living.

These figures are an improvement from the 2017 figures, which were 9.5 per cent and 10.3 per cent, respectively.

For comparison, the latest UK-wide figures are available from the Office for National Statistics.

In 2017, the median national gender pay gap was 18.4 per cent, and in 2018 provisional figures show it is 17.9 per cent. L&Q also compared the median earnings of employees from a white background and from a BAME background.

It found a median pay gap of 3.1 per cent at L&Q and zero per cent at L&Q Living, meaning BAME employees were slightly comparatively underpaid at L&Q.

White and BAME staff received bonuses at a slightly different level at L&Q, with around 85 per cent of employees from a white background receiving a bonus compared to 79 per cent of BAME workers.

To tackle these pay gaps further, L&Q says it is:

Investing in recruitment; including setting leadership targets, giving its executive group scrutiny, improving its flexible offer and reviewing where it advertises roles
Developing a succession and talent management strategy, with the requirement to nurture diverse talent at its heart
Increasing diversity and inclusion training, including modules on unconscious bias
Launching an inclusive leadership and management programme, to support leaders and people managers to nurture diverse talent l Introducing a mentoring scheme, enabling senior leaders to access the diverse perspectives, experience and skills of junior staff.

Lesley Rankin, researcher at the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR), said: “IPPR’s research has shown that transparency is an effective tool in challenging pay inequalities, which is why IPPR has called on Government to implement a radical extension of pay transparency. “We welcome L&Q’s decision to publish its ethnicity pay gap.

“L&Q’s actions to address its pay gaps are also essential – because transparency will not eliminate pay inequalities, employers and Government need to take action on the structural causes of inequality. We hope that other employers will follow L&Q’s lead.”

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