Ethnicity pay gap for UK pharmacists increases

The survey, which is broken down by sector, revealed that the ethnicity pay gap is widest in industry, at 41%.

Asian pharmacist working

The difference in pay between white and non-white pharmacists has widened by 0.3 percentage points over the past year, figures from
The Pharmaceutical Journal’s 2019 salary and job satisfaction survey

The survey, conducted between 6 May 2019 and 10 June 2019, found a statistically significant 15.8% median pay gap between non-locum pharmacists who identify as white and those who identify as non-white, which equates to a difference of £8,320 per year — an increase from 2018’s reported ethnicity pay gap of 15.5%.

The survey of 1,814 Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) members found median annual gross salaries of white, non-locum pharmacists to be £52,624 compared to £44,304 for non-white pharmacists across all sectors.

The statistical analyses were conducted by independent biostatisticians from the University of Aberdeen.

Mahendra Patel, a member of the RPS English Pharmacy Board and an honorary professor at the University of Bradford, said that while the increasing gap may appear negligible, “the reality is a white pharmacist on average receives £8,400 a year more than a fellow non-white pharmacist — across all areas of practice”.

“Little or no progress has been made to address this widening inequality since previously reported,” he said.

Mohammed Hussain, senior clinical lead at NHS Digital, said: “Although the data is not perfect, it does reveal a greater truth that the pharmacy workforce continues to have structural inequality.”

Hussain added that the RPS and the NHS should commit to ongoing ethnic pay gap reporting for their organisations as well as for all employers, in line with gender pay gap reporting requirements, which require companies and organisations with more than 250 employees to report their gender pay gap each year.

Broken down by sector, the survey revealed that the ethnicity pay gap is smallest within primary care at 1.2% (an annual salary of £53,248 for white pharmacists compared to £52,624 for non-white pharmacists) and widest in industry at 41%. However, at that level, the ethnicity pay gap for primary care was not statistically significant.

Elsy Gomez Campos, president of the UK Black Pharmacists’ Association, said the results showed that ethnic minority talent was being overlooked within the profession. “You have to ask what is going on and more importantly, what needs to be done to ensure the talent and hard work of BAME pharmacy professionals is as equally remunerated as the talent and skills of their white counterparts,” she said.


Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, Ethnicity pay gap for UK pharmacists increases;Online:DOI:10.1211/PJ.2019.20207114

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