A government-backed review has urged businesses to publish breakdowns of their worker’s pay and ethnicity, in a bid to target the race pay gap.
According to Baroness McGregor-Smith’s investigation, people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds (BME) are more likely to work in lower paid and lower skilled jobs – despite being more likely to have a degree. It also found employment rates are 12 percent lower for BME workers than white people.
Equality and protection from discrimination are a key part of our human rights and are part of the Human Rights Convention. However, the new review found people were still losing out in the workplace due to the colour of their skin.
What does the review suggest?
Setting out a number of ways to tackle the problem, Baroness McGregor-Smith said companies with more than 50 employees should be encouraged to publish breakdowns of their workforce by race and pay band. She added:
The time for talk on race in the workplace is over, it’s time to act. No-one should feel unable to reach the top of any organisation because of their race. If businesses and the Government act on my recommendations, it will show everyone from a minority background that Britain’s workplace is for everyone, not just the privileged few.
Companies would also be expected to draw up five-year aspirational targets for increasing diversity, as well as nominating a board member to work on making these a reality. The report also claimed a more diverse workforce would help boost the economy by £24 billion.
Speaking to the BBC, Baroness McGregor-Smith, who was one of the first Asian women to lead a FTSE 100 company, said if businesses didn’t listen to the recommendations, she’d push for legislation to force them. “If we don’t see a surge of people taking that up because they have too many other priorities well then fine, we’ll legislate,” she added. “That’s my recommendation.”
The suggestion follows draft regulations put forward in 2016 which would force companies with more than 250 employees to reveal data on the difference in pay between men and women.
Want to know more about this?
- You can read the full report online on the Government website
- See a previous news story about ‘entrenched’ race inequality
- Take a look at your rights in our discrimination infographic