Businesses must scrutinise their management and activities to ensure that they are not discriminating against ethnic minorities, the lead Catholic Bishop for racial justice issues has warned.
“It is unacceptable that people from ethnic minority groups are still facing significant discrimination in our society,” the Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster, Paul McAleenan, told The Universe after a new study revealed that Black and ethnic minority workers face ‘significant’ pay penalties of up to £4 an hour compared with other employees despite improvements in their educational attainment and employment.
Bishop McAleenan said the issue had clearly been identified by the Resolution Foundation’s research, which found that pay gaps of around £4 an hour exist for Pakistani and Bangladeshi non-graduate men compared with white men, and £2 an hour for black men.
The think-tank said the pay differences were ‘very significant’, highlighting the scale of discrimination some workers still face.
The pay disparities were found even though the proportion of people with degrees has increased by around a quarter among black men and women, and among Pakistani and Bangladeshi women.
“Every part of our society has a duty to acknowledge the innate dignity and equality of every human person,” said Bishop McAleenan. “Pope Francis has said, ‘work is fundamental to the dignity of a person’. Connected with this is how people are treated while at work. Businesses and employers must ensure people from minorities do not face barriers, disadvantage or discrimination in the workplace.
“Businesses therefore need to look at their own recruitment, internal promotion and pay levels to ensure there is no discrimination against ethnic minorities,” he added.
Picture: A generic image of a business meeting. (Stanislas Merlin/DPA/PA).