MPs back mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting during debate at Westminster
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October 19, 2021
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
People Management’s article “MPs back mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting during debate at Westminster” features insights from RRA Consultant Efe Ekhaese.
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Excerpt from the article originally published in People Management

MPs have called on the government to make ethnicity pay gap reporting mandatory for larger firms, as experts urge employers to start collecting data now. 

In a parliamentary debate yesterday (20 September), the government was told that unless ethnicity pay gap reporting was made mandatory for larger organisations, businesses would struggle to make the progress needed to close the pay gap.

Caroline Nokes, Labour MP and chair of the Women and Equalities Committee, said businesses were “crying out” for ethnicity pay gap reporting. “They want it to happen, but on a mandatory basis,” she said.

Steven Bonnar, Scottish National Party MP, added that mandatory ethnicity pay reporting, modelled on the current gender pay disclosure requirements, “would be one of the most transformative steps a company could take to address racial inequality at work and overcome practical difficulties in the workplace.”

But he criticised the government for the delay in introducing the requirements, stating that “no further developments have materialised” despite there having been an independent report commissioned by the government; a follow-up report from the government; and a government consultation on the issue over the last five years.

Efe Ekhaese, consultant at Russell Reynolds Associates, agreed that mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting was “essential”, adding that pay was one of the most urgent issues to address when facing ethnic disparities in the workplace.

He urged employers to start disclosing data before they are forced to by legislation. “While having the legal requirement would be a great next step, we should not wait until that happens before we feel compelled to act,” he said, adding: “What gets measured gets done.”

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