A petition urging the government to introduce mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting has gained the support of responsible business network Business in the Community.
The petition, which has received more than 96,000 signatures at the time of writing, calls upon the government to require organisations to publish their ethnicity pay gap alongside their gender pay gap to “shine a light on race/ethnicity based inequality in the workplace so that they can be addressed”.
Ethnicity pay gap
Sandra Kerr, race director at Business in the Community, said: “It is time for the government to take action and implement mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting now.
“There is gross under representation of Black talent at top tables in the private and public sector and ethnicity pay gap reporting will ensure that this conversation remains an important issue for employers to action alongside their gender pay gap reporting. Nationwide, Baker Mckenzie and Mott MacDonald are just some of the employers who have voluntarily published their ethnicity pay gap in recent days and months.
“The BITC Race at Work 2018 Scorecard Report, in collaboration with YouGov, found that employees said only 11% of employers were currently capturing ethnicity and pay data. Without this important indicator, businesses will not be able to diagnose and take action to deal with their ethnicity pay gaps.”
The concept of ethnicity pay gap reporting has been explored by the government for some time. A consultation into its possibility closed in January 2019, but the government has not yet outlined its next steps.
Earlier this year the Confederation of British Industry and law firm Eversheds Sutherland urged firms to voluntarily disclose the difference in average pay for different ethnic groups as soon as possible. However, they acknowledged that many employers did not hold staff ethnicity data at this stage.
The petition, which will be debated in Parliament if it receives 100,000 signatures, says mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting “will allow employers to be held accountable in closing the gap where there is disparity”.