The group is asking PM to introduce mandatory reporting on the ethnic pay gap


The King-backed business organization has urged the prime minister to “stop wasting time” by making it compulsory for large companies to report their ethnic pay gap.

Business In The Community (BITC) wrote letters to Rishi Sunak and union leader Sir Keir Starmer, urging them to work together to introduce new legislation for employers with more than 250 employees.

The group, of which Charles was a founding royal patron when it was founded in 1982, said it was a “matter of urgency” for the government.

The government urgently needs to introduce mandatory reporting on the ethnic wage gap

According to BITC, only 3% of UK workers are employed by companies that publish their ethnic pay gap.

But projections based on census data show that by 2051 almost a third of working-age adults in England and Wales will be from ethnic minorities.

If harnessed, this diverse ethnic workforce could boost the economy by £36 billion by 2051, BITC predicted, using data from the 2017 McGregor-Smith Review on Race in the Workplace.

Sandra Kerr, BITC Racing Director, said: “The government urgently needs to come up with mandatory reporting on the ethnic pay gap.

“Employers support it, evidence shows reporting works so I’m not sure what the government is waiting for.

“Companies releasing this data is just the first step, closing the pay gap only when the real work begins.

“By continuing to ignore the inevitable, the government is wasting time when we could all work together to address the problem.”

BITC found that without government action, it will take until 2075 for companies that currently collect data on ethnicity to publish it.

Reports in recent years have revealed differences between ethnic minorities and white British workers.

The TUC found last year that the unemployment rate for blacks and ethnic minorities was more than double that of their white counterparts, a gap that widened in the wake of the pandemic.

A separate 2020 report by the Runneymede Trust racial equality think tank found that black and ethnic minorities were 47% more likely to be employed on a zero-hour contract than white young adults.

It is clear that mandatory reporting is the only way to tackle the ethnic pay gap, it is too late for voluntary guidelines

Responsible investment groups have pressured UK companies to disclose their ethnic pay gap data to address racial inequality in the workforce.

ShareAction, a charity that works with investors to drive social change, has been targeting financial services companies in the FTSE 100 since July last year.

It has surveyed 17 major companies at their annual general meetings and has received commitments from companies such as NatWest, Standard Chartered and Abrdn to publish or disaggregate data to compare data across ethnic groups.

British banking giants such as Barclays and HSBC have said they want to improve representation of ethnic minority workers in senior positions after reporting significant wage differentials between black and white workers.

Baroness McGregor-Smith, a British businesswoman and politician, said: “It has been six years since I published my report on race in the UK workplace and since then the government has not taken any concrete action to narrow the pay gap for different ethnic groups to tackle groups.

“It is clear that mandatory reporting is the only way to address the ethnic pay gap, it is too late for voluntary guidance.” The group is asking PM to introduce mandatory reporting on the ethnic pay gap

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