How to Have an Ethnicity Pay Gap Conversation – for Employees

Aide Memoire – Ethnicity Pay Gap Conversations

Step 1: Do Your Research

Do you have a good understanding of how the salary for your role was agreed? Was a job evaluation completed as part of the recruitment process? Is this something you would be able to get a hold of?

Does your company use salary banding? have you been told if you have to stay within your band or can up leap onto another band based on your performance.

What is the salary range for your post? You can consult websites such as Hays https://www.hays.co.uk/salary-guide/ salary-checker or Reed https://www.reed.co.uk/average-salary

Armed with this information, take a look at your job description, personnel specification and your appraisals. To what extent have you fulfilled and exceeded expectations in your post? Make a note of specific examples, using the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result).

Step 2: Seek Advice and Support

It would be helpful to join a union if you can, the reason being that a union can advocate on your behalf if you have become aware that you are being paid less than others for the same job, Or if you have noted that there is a pattern where black and minority ethnic workers are being passed

over for promotion, a union would have the resources (legal and personnel) to highlight the issue.

Utilising black and ethnic minority worker forums would be of benefit. BAME networks can be a good group to join where open discussions about pay disparities can take place? As a collective you can lobby human resources and request that the publication of pay and progression data take place.

If collective action is out of reach, are there any sympathetic HR officers you can approach? Harvard Business Review suggest the following:

“HR will likely have a very clinical conversation with you about your company’s pay scale bands [but] it will give you a better sense about the salary range for positions equivalent to yours.” When you know where you fall — top, bottom, or somewhere in the middle — you can better understand the extent of room for growth and “where your company is in terms of its ability to give raises,” adds Menon. She advises approaching the conversation from a point of “curiosity and cooperation” and having “specific questions” at the ready. “Don’t accuse and don’t be pre- sumptuous.” If you discover you’re in a “lower pay bracket, and you’re a high performer, the onus is on HR to explain it to you in the name of transparency.”

https://hbr.org/2016/03/ when-you-find-out-a-coworker-makes- more-money-than-you-do

Step 3: Request a Formal Pay Review
Use the research you have completed to make a case for a pay rise. You can find some good tips here: https://www.monster.co.uk/career-advice/article/how-can-i-se- cure-a-pay-rise-uk

Step 4: Work with Your Organisation

Your organisation may not feel comfortable discussing Ethnicity Pay Gap that exists in their company. Be part of the working party to capture Ethnicity Pay Gap so it can be reported. If it exists, it is better to work together to ensure that it is dealt with.

Step 5: Lobby Your Local MP

This may not be something you really want to consider however, sometimes by working externally for change it could help you with your organisations perception of tackling their Ethnicity Pay gap.

Step 6: Don’t Give Up

If the answer is no, most guidance recommends that you should not seek a pay rise more than once a year. It is at this point that there may be mileage in finding a mentor who can guide you with enhancing your skills, or enrolling on a leadership pro- gramme. Don’t be afraid either, to start looking elsewhere.

You may also want to consider seeking legal advice – this would be available via a union, which is another good reason to join one!

Created by Dianne Greyson PGCert HRM & Susan D. Baker BA(Hons) PGDip Msc.