One of the country’s leading housing associations is striving to reduce inequalities in the sector by publishing both gender and BAME pay gaps for the first time.

L&Q's inaugural Fair Pay report demonstrates the social housing provider’s commitment to diversity and equality and is thought to be a first for the sector.

All organisations with more than 250 staff have been required by law since April 2018 to produce gender pay reports. But the housing association has today gone further and will now regularly report on ethnicity pay statistics.

The report shows the gender pay gap at L&Q is improving, while the BAME pay gap is smaller but notable.

Jan Gale, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, said: “At L&Q we are proud to be leading the way with our approach to ensuring all staff are paid fairly for the job they do. We are delighted to be one of the first organisations within our sector to publicly report our BAME pay and bonus gaps. We believe by doing this we can be even more influential in tackling the gender and BAME imbalance when considering not only pay and reward, but also positions held at the top levels within our organisation. This is key in our drive to become a fully diverse and inclusive organisation.”

The gender pay gap

The gender pay gap is improving at L&Q and L&Q Living. The median pay gap is now 7.6% at L&Q and 1.7% at L&Q Living. These figures are an improvement from the 2017 figures, which were 9.5% and 10.3% respectively.

For comparison, the latest UK-wide figures are available from the Office for National Statistics. In 2017, the median national gender pay gap was 18.4%, and in 2018 provisional figures show it is 17.9%.

The BAME pay gap

L&Q compared the median earnings of employees from a white background and from a BAME background. It found a median pay gap of 3.1% at L&Q and 0% at L&Q Living, meaning BAME employees were slightly underpaid at L&Q.

White and BAME staff received bonuses at a slightly different level at L&Q, with around 85% of employees from a white background receiving a bonus compared to 79% of BAME employees.

To tackle these pay gaps further, L&Q is:

  • Investing in recruitment; including setting leadership targets, giving Executive Group scrutiny, improving its flexible offer and reviewing where it advertises roles
  • Developing a succession and talent management strategy, with the requirement to nurture diverse talent at its heart
  • Increasing diversity and inclusion training, including modules on unconscious bias
  • Launching an inclusive leadership and management programme, to support leaders and people managers to nurture diverse talent
  • Introducing 360 mentoring, enabling senior leaders to access the diverse perspectives, experience and skills of junior staff.

Lesley Rankin, researcher at IPPR and co-author of IPPR's ‘The Fair Pay Report’, said: “IPPR’s research has shown that transparency is an effective tool in challenging  pay inequalities, which is why IPPR has called on Government to implement a radical extension of pay transparency.

“We welcome L&Q's decision to publish their ethnicity pay gap. L&Q's actions to address their pay gaps are also essential - because transparency will not eliminate pay inequalities, employers and government need to take action on the structural causes of inequality. We hope that other employers will follow L&Q’s lead.”

David Montague, CEO of L&Q, said: “We're investing in our people. Being transparent about pay, including our pay bands and our pay progression policy, is important as we address the gender pay gap in a fair and accountable way. We are undertaking a review of pay across the organisation, which will include our market benchmarking and job evaluation process, and also an equal pay audit.”

ENDS

The full 'Fair pay report' can be found here.

Note to editors

From end 2019 L&Q will also report on its disability pay gap, and it will start to gather data on its LGBTQ+ pay gap to see if reporting on that is viable.

You can see IPPR's Fair Pay report here.

Mean versus median?

• Mean earnings are the average -   they are calculated by adding up all hourly earnings and dividing them by the number of staff.

• Median earnings come from ranking all earnings from lowest to highest and identifying the number in the middle.

•  Statisticians tend to prefer median values to mean ones, but we present both in the report

About L&Q

L&Q is a regulated housing association and one of the UK’s most successful social businesses.
We house around 250,000 people in 92,000 homes, primarily across London and the South East.
As a not-for-profit organisation, we reinvest all the money we make into new and existing homes, creating successful communities and providing excellent services.
We will tackle the housing crisis by building 100,000 new homes over ten years. At least 50% of these will be genuinely affordable, with a target of 60% in London.
We invest in a £250 million community Foundation and £5 million a year skills academy to build opportunity and confidence in our communities.

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