Focus on Wolverhampton council’s ethnic pay gap
The council’s report on the ethnic pay gap for 2021 shows the average average hourly rate for its white employees was £16.14, compared to £15.38 for ethnic minority workers, a difference of 4.71 %.
In total, the local authority has 3,678 full-time equivalent staff, of which 3,328 have chosen to share details of their ethnicity, representing 90.5% of the workforce.
Of these, 2,374 (64.5%) were white and 954 (25.9%) belonged to minority ethnic groups.
In a report to the council, HR business partner Baljit Basatia said: “The workforce spans a wide range of service areas rather than just one sector.
“The grades for each role vary depending on the level of responsibility, and so there is a wide range of pay scales to reflect this. Of the 3,328 employees who declared their ethnicity, 2,351 were female and 977 were male.
“The average average hourly rate for white men was £16.71 and £16.22 for ethnic minority men. It was £15.86 for white women and £15.14 for ethnic minority women.
Council equality bosses, who are due to discuss the issue next week, have already taken steps to bridge the gap, including the creation of four staff equality forums covering gender, maternity and paternity ; race, religion and belief; disability and age and the rainbow forum; a corporate equality steering group that meets quarterly where staff forums discuss issues with external stakeholders; the establishment of a “safe space” for employees to anonymously raise concerns with an independent external service; and a review of the recruitment process to remove barriers and help diverse candidates apply for vacancies.
Other steps include the development of an external career site that informs potential candidates of opportunities within the board, including the benefits of working for the board, types of careers, basic HR policies and education. cases on various employees; unconscious bias training (provided to 1,463 employees since 2017); comprehensive support for candidates not selected for interviews, to support them in their future applications (five out of 15 employees who requested support succeeded in seizing new opportunities); the appointment of an equality officer to lead on issues of race, religion and creed and the use of inclusive language.
Reporting data on the ethnic pay gap is not a current legal requirement and many councils and employers choose not to publish this information.
The report added: “Equality, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of everything the council does and human resources will continue to work in partnership with our team to consider other future actions that may be taken. “
The board’s resources and equalities review committee is due to discuss the matter on Wednesday.