Workers from racially diverse backgrounds are nearly twice as likely to have been told they won’t be getting a pay rise this year, a report by networking group People Like Us has found.
Almost a fifth (19%) of workers from ethnic minority backgrounds have been informed by their employers that they would not receive a promotion or pay rise they were promised, compared to 10% of people from white backgrounds.
At the same time, the survey found that 34% of workers from ethnic minorities are no longer able to afford to pay bills, rent or mortgage each month, compared to 28% of the population as a whole.
Rising costs are impacting the wellbeing of people from all ethnicities, with People Like Us reporting that 73% have experienced some impact on their work life. This rises to 85% of people from ethnic minority backgrounds, however.
More than a fifth of employees from an ethnic minority background (22%) feel like they may have to change their job as they are unable to cover their living costs, compared to 16% of the general population. A fifth of all employees surveyed are considering taking a second job to cover the cost of living.
Ethnic minorities & cost of living
Earlier this year, the group revealed that workers from Black, Asian, mixed race or other minority ethnic backgrounds were paid 84% of what their white counterparts earned. Around two-thirds of ethnic minority workers polled said they believed a white colleague was doing the same job as them but on a higher salary.
Many ethnic minority workers have lower job security than their white counterparts. People Like Us found that less than a third felt their job would be secure despite spiralling inflation, compared to 46% of white workers.
Sheeraz Gulsher, co-founder, said: “It’s heartbreaking to see the devastating effect the cost of living crisis is having on people from all over the UK. But it isn’t affecting everyone equally. In these tough moments, it is really important not to let equity fall off the priority list, particularly when this data shows that this crisis is affecting those from minority backgrounds significantly more.”
Echoing calls from a number of trade bodies and unions, the organisation wants the government to reconsider making ethnicity pay gap reporting mandatory.
“It will truly create huge strides in making a fairer and more equal society,” added Gulsher. People Like Us offers a free toolkit on its website where employers can measure their pay gaps, as well as a self-identification form so companies can collect data on racial background.
Chair of the Women and Equalities Committee, Caroline Nokes MP, recently slammed the government’s decision not to make reporting mandatory as “nonsensical”.