Mind the Gap Between The Train And Platform Edge - Ethnicity Pay Gap Not Acceptable
A major moment of legal history took place on 28th April 2022 when the Regulator of the legal profession, the Solicitors Regulation Authority chose to publish its Ethnicity Pay Gap Report for the first time.
What Is An Ethnicity Pay Gap, How Is It Calculated and How Large is It?
The calculation of an ethnicity pay gap largely depends upon which method the person measuring said gap uses for the comparison. According to the Solicitors Regulation Authority the ethnicity pay gap is the difference between the median or mean hourly income rate earned by staff of white ethnicity in comparison to those from a Black, Asian and ethnic minority heritage. Considering each of the two variants in turn, median pay gap is found by finding the middle ground in the hourly pay ranges between White workers and those from a BAME heritage. All the data is collected and collated from the most to the very least. The exact centre figure is the one selected as the median. Turning next to the mean pay gap. This figure is calculated by taking the total rates of hourly pay and then proceeding to divide it by the full numbers of workers in each group.
What Did The Solicitors Regulation Authority Find?
The Solicitors Regulation Authority conducted its research into the gender pay gap and made a number of alarming discoveries. It made an honest and transparent assessment find that those occupying its leading senior management positions no less than one hundred percent of them were occupied by people of white origin. People of white heritage also made up just shy of an extraordinary ninety percent of the highest paid roles. It also discovered that in 2021 the median pay gap was estimated to be just under 20% and the mean was calculated to be just shy of twenty-two percent. The two figures involved a study of the deficit between colleagues from a BAME heritage and those of their white counterparts.
How Was The Survey Sample Compiled?
In stark contrast to the compulsory nature of the gender pay gap survey, the disclosure of ethnic minority data compared to those of white origin is voluntary.
What Action Does The Solicitors Regulation Authority Require?
The CEO of the Solicitors Regulation Authority Paul Phillip, commented that on the evidence the regular has examined a lot of law firms are falling short of the required standards when it comes to reporting data on the ethnicity pay gap. As a regulator of the legal profession in the jurisdiction of England and Wales Mr Philip claimed the Solicitors Regulation Authority was demonstrating real leadership by disclosing the data on ethic pay disparity in an open, honest and transparent manner. Following the publication of its report the regulator now expects firms providing services of a legal nature to follow its example by disclosing its data on the ethnic minority pay gap into the public domain in order for it to be open to
- scrutiny and
- for comparison purposes.
The CEO of the Regulator was very critical of the above statistic and the open water gulf that had opened up between the number of people occupying the upper echelons of the legal profession and the highest earning positions in firms as alluded to earlier in the article. Mr Philip was seemingly stinging in his criticism and described the situation as unacceptable.
A Consultation was launched in 2018 on this issue. However, the findings have never been released. Keep watching this space as this story will surely develop.
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THE ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN USING THE FOLLOWING SOURCES
 Hyde, John – SRA chief admits ethnicity pay gap figure is ‘not acceptable’ – Law Gazette - 29 April 2022 - SRA chief admits ethnicity pay gap figure is ‘not acceptable’ | News | Law Gazette
 Solicitors Regulation Authority – 2021 Ethnicity Pay Gap Report – 28 April 2022 - SRA | Ethnicity Pay Gap report 2021 | Solicitors Regulation Authority
 Law Society – Ethnicity pay gap: what you need to know – 15th October 2021 - Ethnicity pay gap: what you need to know | The Law Society
 Law Society – Race for inclusion: the experiences of Black, Asian and Minority solicitors – 9th December 2020 - Race for inclusion: the experiences of Black, Asian and minority ethnic solicitors | The Law Society
 Rose, Neil – SRA to urge big firms to report ethnicity pay gap – 21 March 2022 – Legal Futures - SRA to urge big firms to report ethnicity pay gap - Legal Futures
 Bindman, Dan – Gender pay gap in law remains wide, Law Society Report finds – 10 December 2021 – Legal Futures - Gender pay gap in law remains wide, Law Society report finds - Legal Futures
 Law Society pay gap reporting: what can we learn from the 2020 snapshot? 09 December 2021 - Gender pay gap reporting: what can we learn from the 2020 snapshot? | The Law Society