TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady has asked the government to “take genuine action to tackle pay discrimination”.
She made the call after it emerged that black workers with degrees earn 23.1% less on average than white workers with degrees.
According to the new analysis published by the TUC, a black worker with a degree will earn £14.33 an hour compared to a white graduate who will typically earn £18.63 an hour – £4.33 more.
The report also shows that the pay gap between white and black workers is at its widest at degree level. Black workers with A-levels earn 14.3% less on average than their white counterparts.
And black people who leave school with GCSEs typically get paid 11.4% less than their white peers.
The report further shows that white graduates earn 10.3% more than all black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) workers with degrees.
“These are very worrying findings. Black and Asian people face a massive pay gap, even if they have a degree. This is not about education, but about the systemic disadvantages ethnic minority workers face in the UK,” Ms O’Grady said. “The harsh reality is that at any level of education, black and Asian workers are getting paid less than their white counterparts. Even today race still plays a huge role in determining pay.”
Commenting on the findings, Runnymede Trust Director Dr Omar Khan said: “The TUC’s research highlights the continuing racial inequalities in the labour market. The Runnymede Trust has previously found these gaps extend even to equivalently qualified Russell Group graduates and the TUC has now shown that gaps are actually widest for those with higher qualifications.“This suggests that education alone will do little to address racial inequalities, and the need for interventions that direct challenge racial inequalities in the workplace.”
To address the problem, the TUC is urging the government to urgently develop a race equality strategy as a matter of political priority, with clear targets and adequate resourcing.