Sadiq Khan

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan

Khan vows to tackle ‘injustice’ of pay inequality

The Mayor of London has called on employers across the capital to help tackle the ‘injustice’ of pay inequality.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has stepped up his fight against pay inequality in the capital by publishing for the first time ever comprehensive data on the pay gap affecting Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) employees for all organisations in the Greater London Authority (GLA) Group, making it among the first employers in the country to do so.

Alongside this data, the Mayor has revealed how he plans to tackle the ethnic pay gap across the organisations under his control – and called on other businesses and public bodies across the capital to follow suit. The data reveals a significant earnings difference between white people employed by the GLA Group and those from a BAME background.

The reason for this gap is not that BAME people are paid less to do the same job – it is because of an under-representation of BAME employees in senior roles. This is a similar problem to one that has been identified through the Mayor’s gender pay audit – which he published for the first time ever last year - that there are not enough women in senior roles.

The pay gap is particularly stark at the Metropolitan Police, the Greater London Authority itself and the two development corporations.

Khan said: “London is renowned throughout the world as a progressive and diverse city and that’s why it is important for me to publish City Hall’s first ever ethnicity pay audit. I have made sure all of the GLA group publishes an ethnicity pay audit – and the results should concern us all.

“I am pleased my administration is shining a light on an issue that has been hidden from sight for far too long. But this is just the beginning.

“I am deeply troubled that members of the Black Asian and minority ethnic community who work at these organisations earn on average less than their white counterparts, and I am determined to confront this inequality.

“This sort of injustice takes many years to develop and it becomes deeply entrenched. My administration is finally beginning the process of turning this around.

“We are determined to promote fairness for all workers, and remedy any unfair disadvantage against BAME people. Change cannot come soon enough.

“I’m urging all London’s public bodies and businesses to join me in doing what they can to right this injustice and calling on the Government to consider if it is appropriate to legislate to make ethnicity pay audits a legal requirement, as is the case for gender pay reporting.”

Ethnicity pay data published today for the GLA’s functional bodies reveal that white people and those of black, Asian and minority ethnic origin are paid, on average, the following: 

Greater London Authority

White employees: £23.93 per hour. BAME employees £20.17 – an ethnic pay gap of 16% 


Transport for London

White employees: £27.97 per hour. BAME employees £25.23 – an ethnic pay gap of 9.8% 

Metropolitan Police Service

White employees: £21.35 per hour. BAME employees £17.98 – an ethnic pay gap of 16.7% 

Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime

White employees: £24.75 per hour. BAME employees £23.89 – an ethnic pay gap of 3.5%

London Fire Brigade (including London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority)

White employees: £16.36 per hour. BAME employees £16.36 – an ethnic pay gap of 0% 

Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation

White employees: £26.81 per hour. BAME employees £16.75 – an ethnic pay gap of 37.5%

London Legacy Development Corporation

White employees: £28.77 per hour. BAME employees £20.14 – an ethnic pay gap of 30%

Sandra Kerr OBE, race equality director, Business in the Community, said: “Greater London Authority has taken a bold and positive step by publishing its first ethnicity pay audit, and I welcome the Mayor’s decision to do so. In particular I am pleased to see that the Mayor has also set out his plans to address the pay gap. Whilst monitoring and publishing data on BAME employees’ pay is critical for identifying any gaps, it must also be supported by action to close these gaps in order to truly have an impact. 

“I also welcome the Mayor’s call for other employers to publish their own ethnicity pay gaps, as this will enable even more employers to create truly fair and inclusive workplaces for everyone. Last week Business in the Community launched our 2018 Race at Work survey, supported by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which includes new questions on monitoring and publishing pay data by ethnicity, and I encourage everyone to take part in their survey and share it with their friends, family and colleagues.

“This will help us to develop a true picture of the situation for BAME employees in London and across the UK, and will support recommendations for what steps employers can take to tackle these issues.”

The Mayor has taken immediate action to close the ethnic pay gap at City Hall. All recruitment is now completely anonymised – most recently removing names from applications in addition to other personal details which have long since been removed including gender and ethnicity. Unconscious bias training is also being rolled out across the organisation and a new Diversity and Inclusion Management Board, led by Head of Paid Service, Jeff Jacobs, has been established.

The Greater London Authority works with all its staff networks and is keen to establish a BAME Staff Network to help tackle under-representation within the organisation particularly at senior levels.

Last year the Mayor fulfilled a manifesto commitment by publishing a gender pay audit for organisations across the GLA family, including Transport for London (TfL) and the Metropolitan Police, along with changes to the GLA’s recruitment practices.

This data was published before it was a statutory obligation, showing how the Mayor is taking a lead to reduce inequality in the workplace. The Mayor will shortly be publishing the details of a further gender pay audit.