THE difference in pay among council staff according to ethnic background has been revealed in a new report.

Reading Borough Council openly reports its ethnic minority pay gap every financial year in a bid to be transparent.

The latest report shows a number of findings including a pay gap per hour of 28p between Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff and their white colleagues.

That is according to the median ethnicity pay gap for council employees, with the median being the number in the middle between the highest paid and lowest paid staff.

While the median pay for white staff per hour is £15.60, the pay for Black Asian and Minority Ethnic staff per hour is £15.88, or 28p more.

READ MORE: Reading council gender and BAME pay gap could close 'in next few years'

But the mean pay gap is different.

The mean pay gap is calculated by adding all employees’ rates of pay together and dividing them by the total number of employees.

For the mean pay gap, BAME staff are paid £16.70 per hour, while their white colleagues are paid £17.16, or 46p more.

Therefore, the ethnic minority pay gap varies depending on what average is being used.

Out of 1,573 employees at the council, 1,312 (83.4 per cent) members of staff are white, 114 are Black or Black British, 91 are Asian or Asian British, 51 are reported as having a mixed ethnicity and five are from other ethnic groups.

The numbers are complicated as ethnicity disclosure rate is not 100 per cent (currently it stands at 94.8 per cent).

The council publishes its ethnic minority pay gap voluntarily.

Previously, Jason Brock (Labour, Abbey) the council leader, said: “I think it’s a really good thing that we publish an Ethnicity Pay Gap, it’s very important that we do so.”

And in an interview with the Local Democracy Reporting Service earlier this year, cllr Brock said gaps could be closed by providing skills and training opportunities.

He also encouraged the private sector to publish ethnic minority pay gaps as well.

Cllr Brock said: “I really hope businesses and other public sector partners around the town will help us.

“It’s important to understand the problem so we can find out ways of tackling it.”

READ MORE: Completing swimming pools and tackling inequality among priorities for Reading council leader this year

The figures were presented at a meeting of the council’s personnel committee meeting on Thursday, July 14, where gender pay gap figures were also revealed.

Earlier this year, Shella Smith, the council’s assistant director of human resources, expressed hopes the gaps could be closed in the next few years.

Figures show this could be achievable, as men earn 3p per hour more than women –  £17.10 to £17.07 according to the mean gender pay gap.

More than half of council staff, 56.7 per cent, are women, 41.1 per cent are men, with 2.2 per cent of staff preferring not to state their gender.

The council does not pay bonuses, but does give a flat long service award of £1,000  in recognition of achieving 20 years’ continuous service either with the council or a combination of the council and Berkshire County Council.

Those appointed by the borough council before April 1, 1999, can get £573 plus double leave instead.

This year, 20 employees received long service awards, all of whom took the £1,000.