NEW research has revealed a “class pay gap” of thousands of pounds across the UK.

The Social Mobility Foundation said its study found a pay difference of around £6700, suggesting that from Monday, those from working class backgrounds working in higher professional-managerial positions stop earning, relative to their peers.

It also means they effectively work for nearly one day in every seven for free, the research suggested. 

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The report indicated that those from a working class background face a “double disadvantage” when gender, ethnic and sectoral differences are taken into consideration.

Working class women are paid £9450 less than their male colleagues, even when they are both working in higher professional-managerial positions, said the report.

The study also found that people who are of Bangladeshi and black Caribbean heritage are paid £10,432 and £8770 less respectively than their white peers in the same jobs.

There are also regional differences in class gaps showing Northern Ireland (£8537) and London (£7713) have the biggest pay gaps.

Those in Wales have a gap of £6703, followed by the south of England with £6532 and the north of England with £5896.

Scotland had the second smallest gap of £2848, just above the Midlands at £2276. 

It suggests working class employees in Northern Ireland are almost three times worse off than those in Scotland, the report found.

Sarah Atkinson, chief executive of the foundation, said: “In Britain, it still – quite literally – pays to be privileged.

The existence of a class pay gap shows that Britain remains a deeply unequal society.

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“People from working class backgrounds not only face barriers getting into the professions but also barriers to getting on.

“Far too often employers value polish over performance and it is only by collecting socioeconomic data that they can ensure they are rewarding performance.

“The cost-of-living crisis and the pandemic will be a hammer blow to social mobility. We urge the Government to demonstrate decisive leadership by launching a consultation on creating a register for class pay gap reporting.

“As an absolute starting point, employers must collect socioeconomic data on their staff to assess the problem. Then they can get serious about solutions.”