Reporting the pay gap should be mandatory and is the first step to addressing pay disparities between employees from different ethnic backgrounds, says a cross-party group of British Lawmakers.
In a report published on February 8, the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee has urged the Government to introduce legislation that would require large companies to publish their ethnicity pay gap data.
While gender pay gap reporting- a metric designed to reflect gender across the workforce, rather than the difference between different people doing the same job- has been mandatory for companies with over 250 employees since 2017, no such condition exists to monitor pay disparity for workers of different ethnicities.
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Addressing race inequality in the UK could boost the by £24 billion a year, said the lawmakers. The report recommends that the mandate for ethnicity pay gap reporting be in place by April 2023.
Addressing concerns heard regarding the enforcement of publication, the report calls for a clear explanation of how new rules will be enforced and states that the Government must provide employers with data protection guidelines.
The Committee also calls for the legislation to require businesses to publish an accompanying statement and action plan, allowing employers to account for pay and outline steps to be taken to address them.
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Chair of the Women and Equalities Committee, Rt Hon Caroline Nokes MP, said, "The Government's failure to move forwards on ethnicity pay gap reporting is perplexing. We already have the systems and structures in place to start reporting on the ethnicity pay gap, as well as a clear impetus- tackling inequality benefits not only marginalised groups but the whole economy. The Government has no excuse. All that is lacking, it seems, is the will and attention of the current administration.
By taking this small step, the Government would demonstrate its commitment to working with business to reduce inequality."