According to research conducted by the University College London, professionals from working class backgrounds are paid on average 17% less than their colleagues from more affluent backgrounds.
The report also concluded that even when people from working class backgrounds have the same level of education, there is a pay gap of 7%, while women and ethnic minorities also face a disadvantage in earnings.
Dr. Sam Friedman from the LSE said:
“While social mobility represents the norm, not the exception, in contemporary Britain, there is no doubt that strong barriers to opportunity still persist. By capitalizing on new socio-economic background questions in the UK Labour Force Survey, we have been able to shine a light on some of the most pressing, but largely unexplored issues in British society today.
“In particular, we have found evidence of a powerful and largely unacknowledged pay gap within the professions. There are a number of reasons for this, such as higher educational attainment among the privileged. But even when these factors are taken into account, this gap remains significant.”
The report also finds that people from workless households are 15 to 18% less likely to work.
Pat Harrington, General Secretary of Solidarity Trade Union says:
“It is good that such research has uncovered pay-gaps. However, it is clear that there is some kind of discrimination going on. Considering that such discrimination may not always be the result of conscious intent, employers need to urgently review their processes as well as investigate the possibility of direct and intentional discrimination. Furthermore, this is yet another reason why normal workers should serve at board level.”