NCVO publishes BAME pay gap data for the first time

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations has published information on its BAME pay gap for the first time. 

The umbrella body set out the data in its latest annual accounts, which cover the year to the end of March and are due to be published today. 

The accounts say that although the NCVO employs fewer than 250 people and therefore is not required to publish pay gap information, it had chosen to do so.

They show BAME people working at the charity earn on average 20 per cent less than non-BAME staff, which is an increase from 18 per cent in the previous year. 

The NCVO said that 31 per cent of its workforce identified as BAME and a higher proportion worked in lower pay grades. 

It said it was committed to addressing the pay gap and it began a detailed piece of work in January focusing on equity, diversity and inclusion in a bid to understand how its culture and environment could exclude or marginalise particular groups of people. 

It said it had begun to implement changes to its recruitment practices in a bid to attract more people from BAME communities to work at the NCVO, particularly in the higher pay grades. 

The gender pay gap data shows the NCVO reduced the mean difference to just 1 per cent in favour of men, down from 15 per cent in the previous year. 

It said this reflected the fact that three of the four members of its senior management team were female on 5 April this year, whereas three out of the four were male at the same point a year before. 

The NCVO said it was also committed to publishing information on its disability pay gap and would be working with staff and other organisations to develop the best way to do this. 

The accounts say the NCVO was in a healthy financial and operational position heading into 2020 but the coronavirus pandemic has had “significant consequences for many of our income-generating activities”. 

The NCVO said last month that it expected to have to reduce employee numbers from 107 to 85 as part of a restructure to tackle an estimated deficit of almost £4m over the next three years. 

The accounts show the income in 2019/20 rose by 1.7 per cent year-on-year to £9.1m, because of increased sums from membership, training, brokered services and conference venue hire. 

Expenditure rose from £8.4m in 2018/19 to £8.8m last year, which the umbrella body said was because of one-off spending on the development of a safeguarding training fund using funds that had been received at the end of the previous year.

Sarah Vibert, director of public policy and volunteering at the NCVO, said: “Publishing ethnicity pay gap data is an important step on the journey to becoming a more inclusive organisation. 

“Of course, it cannot and should not be done in isolation and sits alongside much broader cultural change that will contribute towards making our organisation a more equitable and inclusive place to work,” she said. 

“Our focus this year has been on listening and learning. With the support and challenge of our new EDI subcommittee, our focus is now turning to action.

"Putting into place more inclusive recruitment practices is a priority, but we are also acutely aware of the need to focus on creating a more inclusive culture."

The NCVO said it recognised the term BAME was problematic and contested. 

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