Chinese workers in the UK paid more than White Brits

Figures from yesterday (9th July 2019) revealed that Chinese employees earn, on average, a higher hourly wage than White British employees. However, Bangladeshi workers received the lowest median hourly pay.

In a report published by Office for National Statistics (ONS), it was reported that in 2018, Chinese employees were earning up to 30 per cent more than White British workers.

Still, workers from a Bangladeshi background were earning a fifth less than the average White British employee last year. An average Bangladeshi worker earned £9.60 an hour in comparison to the average White British person’s salary of £12.03 an hour.

This trend continued when analysing the percentage of workers in each wage quartile. Bangladeshi workers had the highest percentage of workers (40 per cent) earning the lowest amount of wages per hour and the least amount of employees earning within the highest quartile (13 per cent).

A quarter (25 per cent) of White British workers were categorised into quartile one (the lowest wage bracket) whilst around 22 per cent fell under the highest quartile.

The results of the ethnicity pay gap did vary significantly when considering more specific factors such as education level, gender, age, job location and country of birth.

Despite the report stating that Chinese employees earn more than White British workers, the report from ONS reports an ethnicity pay gap when birth place is accounted for.

It states that non-UK born Chinese workers are estimated to earn five per cent less than their White British counterparts and 10 per cent less than UK-born Chinese employees. This pay gap increases to almost 27 per cent for non-UK born Bangladeshi workers when compared to White UK workers..

Due to these findings , HRreview decided to reach out to some professionals who deal with the issue of diversity in order to find out solutions to remedy the ethnicity pay gap problem.

Professor Binna Kandola, author of ‘Racism at Work: The Danger of Indifference’ and senior partner at Pearn Kandola, a workplace psychology consultancy, said: 

In light of the ONS findings, we need to understand that in the UK workforce, there exists a racial hierarchy, and that whilst some groups do well in these analyses, other groups always do worst. It’s important that the experience of different minority groups is examined as this enables us to identify the most problematic areas.

There is also a tendency for some people to suggest that because some groups are earning more, those who earn less should get their act together and stop complaining about racism. Sometimes referred to as the Bootstrap Model, it’s another way of not listening to people’s experiences, to deny that racism exists and to place responsibility for these results onto the members of these groups. This adds further humiliation to the discrimination that has been suffered.

Suki Sandhu, CEO and founder of INvolve, a networking championing diversity and inclusion in business, said:

We need to make it mandatory for businesses to record and report their ethnic minority pay gap. For many businesses, the idea of increasing corporate reporting is not a welcome one. However, introducing this for ethnicity is vital to encourage discussion, help businesses to deliver impactful change and, ultimately, to reduce the ethnicity pay gap.

Interested in implementing inclusivity and diversity within the workplace? We recommend Unconscious Bias in the Workplace

Monica Sharma is an English Literature graduate from the University of Warwick. As Editor for HRreview, her particular interests in HR include issues concerning diversity, employment law and wellbeing in the workplace. Alongside this, she has written for student publications in both England and Canada. Monica has also presented her academic work concerning the relationship between legal systems, sexual harassment and racism at a university conference at the University of Western Ontario, Canada.