Bold action needed to close ethnicity pay gap

  • 18 Apr 2023

The TUC and NUJ’s Black Members’ Council comment on the government’s pay guidance saying compulsory monitoring of black workers’ salaries is needed without delay.

Paul Nowak, TUC general secretary, said:

“The harsh reality is that even today, structural racism plays a big role in determining Black workers’ pay and career prospects. Too often BME workers are paid less for doing the same job as their white colleagues. Ministers must take bold action to confront inequality and racism in the labour market. The obvious first step is mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting – not just voluntary guidance. 

“Alongside publishing the raw data, every employer should have to publish an action plan setting out how they will close their pay gap. That will really drive more equal workplaces. Business and unions are united in their support for compulsory pay gap monitoring. Ministers must bring it in without delay.” 

Tony Adams, chair of the Black Members’ Council (BMC), said:

“From shop floors to boardrooms institutionalised racism lays the foundations for disproportionately in the workplace. The NUJ Black Members’ Council welcomes the government's new ethnicity pay gap guidance and encourages employers to understand whether inherent unjustifiable disparities exist between different ethnic employee groups and how to mitigate the impact of ethnicity pay reporting. The BMC encourages employers to outline proportional representation and actions they intend to take to reduce any further disparities, including how long term sustained success will be measured.”

The government guidance explains how employers can report on their ethnicity pay and in particular how to:

  • collect employees’ ethnicity data,
  • gather the required payroll data for ethnicity pay calculations,
  • make ethnicity pay calculations,
  • analyse and understand the results of these calculations,
  • develop an action plan to address any identified disparities.

The TUC advocates that: 

  • all employers should publish information about their gender pay gap, to support the fair treatment and reward of all workers irrespective of gender, 
  • all employers should publish information about their ethnicity pay gap, as an important first step towards tackling the pay penalty experienced by Black and minority ethnic (BME) workers, 
  • all employers should put in place action plans to address pay gaps identified by their analysis. 

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