Two months ago, the Department for Business & Trade (DfB&T) in collaboration with the Equality Hub (EqHub) and Race Disparity Unit (RDU) published Ethnicity pay reporting: guidance for employers. This is “guidance for employers on how to measure, report on and address any ethnicity pay differences within their workforce” and fulfills Action 16 of the government’s Inclusive Britain action plan. I was asked to write the draft version of this guidance and I have to confess to being disappointed with the final version published. I will explain why I am disappointed and why I have decided to publish an edited version of my draft as well.
Rishi Sunak is the UK’s first Prime Minister from a non-white ethnic minority. Did this happen by accident or were the Tories working towards this day over the last 20 years?
A recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald by an Australian journalist Latika Burke argues it was the latter. This is well worth reading because it goes into some depth about what the Conservatives did to get to this position. When I combine this article with what I have said before about closing pay and representation gaps, I consider the Conservative party to be a valuable case study for any employer who wishes to close their gaps.
Is pay gap reporting about transparency or accountability? This was the main theme of the House of Lords debate on Ethnicity Pay Gap Reporting (EPGR) on 25th October 2021, unlike the Commons debate that preceded it in September. The 9 peers who spoke could be split between those who see EPGR as an exercise in employer transparency and those who see EPGR as an exercise in employer accountability and I consider this to be a fundamental question that has not yet been answered. In this article, I will discuss the implications of both answers to this question for any future EPGR legislation.
The UK Parliament debated Ethnicity Pay Gap Reporting (EPGR) on 20th September 2021 in Westminster Hall. Seven MPs spoke in the hour long debate and, as debates go, I thought it was actually quite good. There was cross party consensus on the merits of EPGR but I saw a divide between those who recognise EPGR is complex and requires trade offs and those who think the complexities of EPGR can be solved with government guidance.
The UK Parliament is about to debate whether or not ethnicity pay gap reporting (EPGR) by UK employers should be made mandatory. The debate will start at 4.30pm on Monday 20th September 2021 and is a result of an e-petition reaching the threshold to require a parliamentary debate. To assist MPs, journalists, campaigners and anyone else interested in this debate, I have written a briefing note which lists 9 key points that need to be addressed during the debate.
When gender pay gap reporting was introduced by the government for the 2017 snapshot date for all employers with a headcount of 250 or more, it was made clear they would evaluate how the legislation had worked after 5 years. We are now in the 5th year of pay gap reporting and I would like to submit to the government 7 recommendations to improve the way employers’ data is reported and 5 recommendations to improve the data used in the calculations and to reduce various distortions.
It’s April 2029 and the government is trumpeting the fact that no employer in the UK has a gender pay gap or ethnicity pay gap. All employers say that their median woman’s hourly pay is the same as the median man’s hourly pay and their median white employee’s hourly pay is the same as their median non-white employee’s hourly pay. Would you be joining in the celebrations?
I call upon Parliament to abolish the Gender Pay Gap by requiring employers to report their Gender Swap Number instead. When presented alongside an employer’s Gender Pay Fingerprint, the Gender Swap Number tells everyone how much work the employer needs to do to eliminate their gender pay gap and allows for a fairer comparison between employers.
The UK government has promised to give their views and proposals for introducing Ethnicity Pay Gap (EPG) reporting by the end of 2020. A year ago, I pointed out statistical, data & ethical issues with EPG and listed 5 possible ways EPG could be introduced but I have not yet focused on what employers should be reporting. I have now concluded that Ethnicity Pay Fingerprints are vastly superior to Ethnicity Pay Gaps and my new recommendation is that all employers with 500 or more employees should be required to report their Ethnicity Pay Fingerprint (EPF) instead of their Ethnicity Pay Gap. If EPF is widely adopted and found to be beneficial then I would recommend that reporting of other protected characteristics such as gender & disability should be reported using Pay Fingerprints instead of Pay Gaps.
On 5th February 2020, Baroness Prosser laid a bill in the House of Lords which calls for the introduction of ethnicity pay gap reporting in addition to a number of other initiatives. Last year I explained why ethnicity pay gap reporting cannot follow the same process as gender pay gap reporting so now is the time to explore how ethnicity pay gap reporting could be carried out.