Will diversity reckoning fix the ethnicity pay gap?

To tackle disproportionate opportunities such as pay and career prospects for Asian, black and other ethnic groups in the UK, the government is proposing a radical "catalyst for action".

Lydia Morrish
Lydia Morrish NewsMavens, United Kingdom
Will diversity reckoning fix the ethnicity pay gap? - NewsMavens
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Why this story matters:

Ethnic minorities in the UK are more likely to receive lower salaries, be in lower-paid positions and be victims of discrimination in the workplace than white workers. But the British government is proposing to alter racial imbalances in the British workforce by requiring companies to reveal their ethnicity pay gap.

Under plans unveiled by British Prime Minister Theresa May to help minorities at work, a consultation will be carried out into whether mandatory reporting of a pay gap between non-white and white workers will enhance the pay and career prospects of minorities.

It follows a scheme by the government that requires all businesses of 250 or more employees to publish their gender pay disparities annually. The basic idea is that transparency will force conversations on why there are so few women and minorities employed, and then forge action to be taken to iron out the inequalities.

Details from the story:

  • A gender pay gap reporting initiative launched in the UK in April 2018 that required all companies which have 250 or more employees to reveal pay disparities between genders.
  • Companies that had large gaps received high-profile press coverage, prompting some corporation chiefs to address their gender imbalances publicly.
  • It's thought that through mandatory reporting every year, companies will close their gender pay gaps.
  • A consultation announced on October 11 will explore whether mandatory reporting of an ethnicity pay gap will have the same effect.
  • Asian, black and other ethnic groups are disproportionately likely to be on low incomes in the UK.
  • A 2017 Race Disparity Audit by the British government found disparities in opportunities and outcomes for Britain's white and ethnic minority populations across education, employment and healthcare.
  • Matthew Fell, the chief UK policy director of Confederation of British Industry, the UK's leading business organisation, said that transparency can be a "catalyst for action in tackling the ethnicity pay gap, in the same way that it has been so successful for gender."
  • The consultation will run until January.
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