Ethnicity pay gap reporting should become mandatory “without delay”, according to the Trades Union Congress (TUC).
The union body is urging ministers to introduce reporting legislation following the publication of new government guidance and advice for employers today (17 April).
General secretary Paul Nowak 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 [black and ethnic minority] 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. And 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.”
The new guidance, published by the Race Disparity Unit, Equality Hub and the Department for Business and Trade, includes advice on collecting employees’ ethnicity pay information, how to deal with data issues such as confidentiality, aggregating ethnic groups and employees’ locations, the recommended calculations and detailed instructions on how they should be done, reporting the findings, more analysis that may be required to identify causes of any disparities, and why it is important to adopt an evidence-based method when it comes to actions.
Organisations are not currently required by law to report on their ethnicity pay gaps, but many employers voluntarily publish this information in addition to their gender pay gap.
Last month (March), Business in the Community (BITC), the Prince’s Responsible Business Network, wrote to both the Prime Minister and leader of the opposition calling for mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting to be introduced for UK employers with more than 250 employees.