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Equalities and Rights Equalities and Rights

Ask large employers to publish information on the pay gap for people from different ethnic backgrounds

Last updated: 12:40pm 21 January 2019

We will also ask large employers to publish information on the pay gap for people from different ethnic backgrounds.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.56

Our verdict

In October 2017, the Race Disparity Audit revealed some glaring inequalities in pay between people of different ethnicities. For example:

“Pakistani or Bangladeshi employees received the lowest average hourly pay, which was £4.39 per hour less in the last three months of 2016 than Indian employees…”

This policy is a pledge to ask large employers to publish ethnicity pay information (something recommended by the independent McGregor-Smith Review into race in the workplace earlier in 2017) as part of efforts to increase workplace diversity and break down barriers for under-represented groups.

A progress report by Business in the Community in October 2018 found that “just 11% of employees reported that their organisations collect data on ethnicity pay”.

Following that report, and in response to the inequalities revealed by the Race Disparity Audit, the government announced a new Race at Work Charter on 11 October 2018 to drive forward recruitment and progression of ethnic minority employees.

Alongside the Charter, the government launched a consultation on ethnicity pay reporting, which concluded on 11 January 2019. The consultation included 11 questions around design and implementation of a mandatory reporting scheme. It also reaffirmed the manifesto commitment:

“The government believes it is time to move to mandatory ethnicity pay reporting.”

There has been considerable activity in terms of research and planning to meet this commitment, and the government has restated its intention to introduce mandatory reporting. Consultations are usually part of the process of framing laws, so it looks as though this will eventually move to ‘done’, but until the regulatory or legal changes are complete, the policy remains ‘in progress’. Follow this policy for updates.

Background information

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