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Black British Workers with A-levels Earn Ten Percent Less Than White Counterparts

By Shola Adenekan

Saturday, August 19, 2017.

A new study reveals that Black Britons whose highest qualifications are A-levels earn 10% less than their white peers – missing out on an average £1.20 per hour.

The analysis  by the TUC  (Trade Union Congress), coincides with the release of A-level results.

The figures show that while more qualified workers get higher pay, the pay gap for Black workers often decreases with more qualifications. For example, Black Britons with degrees face a 14% pay gap (£2.63 less per hour), while those with higher education certificates and diplomas face a 20% gap (£2.98 less per hour).

Black school leavers with GCSEs earn 12% less (£1.30 less per hour), and those with no qualifications face a 5% pay gap (45p less per hour).

Regardless of qualifications, Black British workers get paid 8.3% less than white workers – costing them an average of £1.15 an hour.

The TUC says the British government must pass legislation requiring employers with more than 50 staff to analyse and publish ethnicity data on progression, employment type and pay; develop a comprehensive national race equality strategy; and work with trade unions to establish targets and develop actions to address racial inequalities in the workforce.

Commenting on these findings, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“Whether they have PhDs or GCSEs, black workers simply aren’t getting paid the same as white workers with similar qualifications.”

O’Grady points out that many young Britons have just received their A-level results, but that the harsh reality is that race will still play a huge role in how much they get paid.

“It's time for the government to require employers to publish pay data broken down by ethnicity. Then we can see where the problems are and put pressure on bosses to close the pay gap," she said.




Black pay gap

Black pay gap (%)







Degree or equivalent






Higher education (below degree level)




- £2.98


A level or equivalent

£ 11.68





GCSE grades A*-C or equivalent






No qualification


Data unavailable




Black British Workers with A-levels Earn Ten Percent Less Than White Counterparts

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