Government urged to introduce mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting

  • 25 Jun 2021

The NUJ has backed the call from a coalition of unions and industry bodies for the government to set out a clear timetable for companies to be forced to publish this data on their workforce.

The TUC, CBI and Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) have issued a joint letter to Michael Gove,  the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, which says:

“Introducing mandatory pay reporting on ethnicity would transform our understanding of race inequality at work and most importantly, drive action to tackle it where we find it.”

The letter signed by Frances O’Grady, TUC general secretary, Tony Danker, CBI director general and Baroness Kishwer Falkner, EHRC chairwoman urged ministers to set out a clear timeframe for introducing ethnicity pay gap reporting to help “ethnic minorities reach their full potential in the workplace”.

Frances O’Grady said:  

“Everyone deserves the chance to thrive at work, and to have a decent, secure job they can build a life on.  But the sad reality is that even today race still plays a significant role in determining people's pay and career progression.  

“This problem isn’t going to magic itself away. Without robust and urgent action many BME workers will continue to be held back. Unions stand ready to work with employers, regulators and government on practical steps to tackle inequality and discrimination in the workplace.

"Mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting is an obvious first step in helping to improve transparency and bring about change.  We need ministers to commit to introducing ethnicity pay reporting now and to bring forward a clear timetable for getting it into law.”

Natasha Hirst, chair of the NUJ's Equality Council, said:

"Pay gap reporting is a vital tool for holding employers to account to take real action to address inequality in the workplace. Simply reporting the proportion of workers who are black and ethnic minority doesn't tell us a great deal. Are under-represented groups able to progress to senior and better-paid roles? If not, pay gap reporting will expose this and employers will have nowhere to hide. The NUJ is in full support of mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting and also for the disability pay gap. The workplace must be fair for all."

The full letter is on the TUC website

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