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Call to force large companies to make ethnicity pay gap public

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Ps are calling for new legislation to make large companies publish data on their ethnicity pay gap, to help crack down on inequality.

The chairwoman of the Women and Equalities Committee, Caroline Nokes has said there is “no excuse” for Government inaction on the matter, as there is a “clear impetus” to report disparities.

Legislation was introduced in 2017 making it compulsory  for companies with 250 or more employees to report their gender pay gap.

However there is currently no legal requirement to disclose pay data for workers of different ethnicities.

The committee is now calling for ethnicity pay gap reporting to be made mandatory by April 2023.

This should apply to all organisations which currently report for gender, it says.

Large companies are already required to publish their gender pay gap (Joe Giddens/PA) / PA Archive

The committee also says legislation should be put in place to require companies to publish “an accompanying statement and action plan, allowing employers to account for pay gaps and outline steps to be taken to address them”.

In 2018, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) launched a consultation in which it said “it is time to move to mandatory ethnicity pay reporting”.

However the Government is yet to set out its response. Business minister Paul Scully wrote to the Women and Equalities Committee in January 2022 to say this would be done “in due course”.

“The Government is committed to taking action on this matter but we need to ensure that we focus on the right issues which will genuinely help to move us forward,” he said.

“I very much hope that I shall be in a position to say more shortly. But for the time being, I am afraid that all I can do is repeat what I said during the debate in September – that we continue to assess next steps and will set out our response in due course.”

In a new report, published on Tuesday, the committee wrote: “The Government has acknowledged that ethnicity pay gap reporting should be mandatory.

Caroline Nokes, chairwoman of the Women and Equalities Committee (David Mirzoeff/PA) / PA Archive

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