Leading businesses sign up for ethnicity pay gap reporting pledge

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In October 2018, the Government launched a consultation into whether mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting should be introduced along the same lines as gender pay gap reporting and with the same, 250-employee, threshold. As we await the Government’s response to that consultation, 15 prominent UK businesses have signed a commitment to work towards ethnicity pay gap reporting ahead of any Government mandate to do so.

The signatories include BUPA, KPMG, Deloitte, ITN, Sodexo, Santander and WPP. Research by diversity business campaign group INvolve, reported that white people, on average, between £67 and £209 more per week compared with similar qualified employees of a different ethnic background.  David Lidington, Minister for the Cabinet Office has said, “There is an urgent need to explain or change ethnic disparities.”

What next?

Mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting is a topic that has come onto the HR radar. The Government’s imminent response to last year’s consultation will bring further news on whether we are likely to see any legislation in this area in the short to mid-term.  In the meantime, employers may wish to conduct their own audits to look at whether there is an ethnicity pay gap in their workforce and, if so, to look at the underlying reasons and any action needed.