Extend pay gap reporting to all demographics, says equality body

An equality body has urged the Government to extend pay gap reporting to all people, including those of an ethnic minority or who have a disability.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), which published the report, said people’s careers are at risk because employers are “failing to collect meaningful data on representation in the workforce”.
Gender pay gap reporting was introduced in April 2017 for employers with 250 or more employees to make public statutory calculations every year detailing how large the pay gap is between their male and female employees.
The findings of these reports, published this year, suggest a significant divide in pay between men and women at all levels in a business, and have led to recommendations which include that more than one female candidate should be included in shortlists for recruitment and promotions, as well as setting negotiable salaries in job advertisements.
More recently, the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee recommended extending the legislation to even more employers by reducing the threshold to just 50 workers after it was found that inequalities in pay were on average the most pronounced in smaller companies.
The EHRC now wants to build on these suggestions by including ethnicity and disability in data collection, as well as gender.
It says failure to collect such data means it is impossible to remove the barriers to the progression and representation of disabled and ethnic minority staff in the workplace.
It follows a recent poll which found that less than half (44 per cent) of employers record or collect data on whether employees are disabled or not, while just a third (36 per cent) record or collect data on employee ethnicity.
Caroline Waters, Deputy Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said employers need the “same level of scrutiny” and should focus actions on opportunities for disabled and ethnic minority staff in the workplace.
“Collecting meaningful data will give employers the insight they need to tackle the underlying causes of inequality and ensure that disabled people and those from ethnic minorities enjoy a working environment that allows them to reach their full potential.
“Our research has shown that first, we need to support employers to collect and analyse data on staff ethnicity and disability and reassure employees about how their information will be used.”

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