Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff Nottingham City Council are paid on average 92p for every £1 earned by white staff, a survey carried out by the council has revealed.

BAME council staff make up around a quarter of the overall workforce, with white staff over-represented among higher earners and proportionally more BAME earners in lower-paid roles.

It means that there is an average pay gap of 7.9% across the organisation and an 8.6% pay gap among BAME middle earners who receive just over 91p for every £1 their white counterparts are paid. The council has recently appointed Mel Barrett as Chief Executive and Sajeeda Rose as Corporate Director for Growth and City Development, both from BAME backgrounds, and is committed to doing more for sustainable improvement across the council.

This is the first year the City Council has published its ethnicity pay gap, and follows the publication of disability and gender pay gap reports which showed that female staff earn on average what men working for the authority are paid and that staff with disabilities are paid the same or slightly better than those who are not disabled.

Nottingham City Council’s figures place it in a better position than some other councils and organisations which have published their ethnicity pay gap. But the authority aims to address the issues that have been identified, including adopting an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, signing the Race at Work Charter and developing an action plan against the charter commitments to:

  • Appoint an executive sponsor for race
  • Capture ethnicity data and publicise progress
  • Commit at board level to zero tolerance of harassment and bullying
  • Make clear that supporting equality in the workplace is the responsibility of all leaders and managers
  • Take action that supports ethnic minority career progression.

Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhoods, Safety and Inclusion, Councillor Neghat Khan, said: “We have chosen to publish this data for transparency and it shows that we are putting our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy into action to address disparities in the workplace.

“We need to work to ensure that ethnic minority staff have the same access to opportunities for development, recognising that they are more likely to experience barriers in the workplace. We need to create an inclusive environment within the organisation and consider further use of positive action to address the under-representation in the highest two pay quartiles, as well as looking at ways in which we can ensure that the organisation is culturally competent so that we can remove any barriers which disproportionately affect ethnic minority staff.”

Chief Executive Mel Barrett, who has been appointed the council’s executive sponsor for race, said: “This is the first year that we have published our ethnicity pay gap, which shows that we have an under-representation of ethnic minority staff in the highest two pay quartiles at the council. While we are comparatively in a better position than some other councils and organisations which have published their ethnicity pay gap, there is still work to do to address the issues that we have identified.

“I want Nottingham City Council to be a sector leader in inclusive practice generally and I recognise that it is important to measure areas where we want to make progress. Understanding where there are disparities provides us with the impetus to do better and to ensure that we hold ourselves accountable for making positive progress. I want the work that we do to be an example of best practice and to be able to demonstrate tangible results.”