NMC becomes first regulator of health and care professionals to publish Workforce Race Equality Standard and ethnicity pay gap report

Published on 25 November 2020

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The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has today (25 November 2020) published the findings from its first ever Workforce Race Quality Standard (WRES) submission and ethnicity pay gap report.

The NMC is the first professional health and care regulator to sign up to the WRES and one of very few organisations nationally to publish information on our ethnicity pay gap. The NMC has published this information to demonstrate its commitment to transparency and accountability in being an employer that is inclusive, fair and values diversity.

The reports will be presented to the NMC’s governing Council on 2 December 2020, alongside the disability and gender pay gap reports and an update on the commitments to tackle inequality and discrimination, made in July 2020, in response to Black Lives Matter.

Some of the key findings that will guide our further action include:

Workforce Race Equality Standard

  • Only 5.2 percent of black and minority ethnic (BME) colleagues thought they had equal access to career opportunities/progression, compared to 42.6 percent of white colleagues.
  • More than 40 percent of NMC colleagues are from BME backgrounds, over 20 percentage points higher than the average among the NHS trusts and other arms-length bodies included in the 2019 WRES survey.

Ethnicity Pay Gap report

  • The mean ethnicity pay gap is 28.7 percent, which is not due to unequal pay for similar roles but reflects the under-representation of BME staff in senior roles.

Gender Pay Gap

  • There was a slight decrease of the mean gender pay gap from 3.9 percent to 3.4 percent, which is still well below the UK gender pay gap of 15.2 percent.

Disability Pay Gap

  • The first disability pay gap report suggests that the NMC has a positive pay gap, with disabled colleagues paid 2.6 percent more on average and with representation of disabled colleagues throughout most pay levels.
  • However, only four percent of colleagues have declared a disability compared with a UK figure of 18.9 percent of the working age population, so underreporting is an issue we’re exploring.

Andrea Sutcliffe CBE, Chief Executive and Registrar for the NMC, said:

“We’re committed to becoming a better regulator and an employer of choice.

“These reports hold some uncomfortable truths and I am particularly alarmed by the lack of confidence black and minority ethnic colleagues have shown in their equal access to career opportunities/progression. The ethnicity pay gap report shows why – we simply do not have enough diversity in our senior roles.

“I’ve always made clear our commitment to be the kind of organisation that doesn’t shy away from difficult conversations. We need to lead by example in developing a culture that values diversity, tackles inequality and promotes inclusion. That’s why we have published these reports.

“We’ve also done a lot of listening and learning from colleagues across the NMC and I’m so grateful for their openness and honesty.

“We’re committed to taking meaningful action to improve the experience of all our colleagues and registrants and have already taken some important steps based on what we have learned. We’ve launched an inclusive mentoring scheme for colleagues from ethnic minority backgrounds, reviewed our EDI training to include ‘lived experiences’ and have started to address issues of race and equality through our leadership development programme. 

“We’ve made some progress already but there’s still a long road ahead of us. Everyone deserves to feel safe, valued and fairly rewarded at work no matter who they are. We’re working hard, together, to make this a reality at the NMC.”


Further background

  1. View the full Council papers. Links to the rest of the reports in the Council papers are included below:
  1. These reports are a part of the NMC’s Together in Practice initiative, aimed at understanding and addressing inequality and discrimination and celebrating the contribution of the diverse professionals and colleagues. 
  2. The Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) is an NHS initiative in England, first introduced in 2014, to improve the experience of black and minority ethnic staff, aiming to ensure they are treated fairly and feel their talents are valued and rewarded. Organisations can compare their performance against others in their region and those providing similar services.

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