Closed petition Introduce Mandatory Ethnicity Pay Gap Reporting

Much like the existing mandatory requirement for employers with 250 or more employees must publish their gender pay gap. We call upon the government to introduce the ethnicity pay gap reporting. To shine a light on race / ethnicity based inequality in the workplace so that they can be addressed.

More details

Currently there is a lack of data available in gauging the ethnicity pay gap in the workplace. Introducing these measures will allow employers to be held accountable in closing the gap where there is disparity. In order to achieve a fairer workplace publishing this data is one of the next steps to knowing how extensive the issues are from a race and ethnicity perspective and not just through the lens of gender.

This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months

130,567 signatures

Show on a map

100,000

Parliament debated this topic

This topic was debated on 20 September 2021

Watch the petition 'Introduce Mandatory Ethnicity Pay Gap Reporting' being debated

Government responded

This response was given on 30 July 2020

The Government ran a consultation from October 2018 to January 2019 on the introduction of mandatory Ethnicity Pay Reporting. We are currently analysing these and will respond by the end of the year.

Read the response in full

Building a fairer economy means ensuring the UK’s organisations reflect the nation’s diversity – from factory floor to boardroom. We are committed to working closely with the business community to consider the steps that can be taken to build more inclusive workplaces, including reporting on diversity.

The Race Disparity Unit’s Ethnicity Facts and Figures website already publishes data collected by government about the different experiences of the UK’s ethnic groups at a national level. In 2018/19, the Government consulted on options for going further, exploring possibilities for employer-level ethnicity pay reporting.

Following the consultation, Government met with businesses and representative organisations to understand the barriers to reporting and explore what information could be published to allow for meaningful action to be taken. It is essential that any reporting is reliable and robust, and that is why last year we also ran a voluntary methodology testing exercise with a broad range of businesses to better understand the complexities outlined in the consultation using real payroll data.

This work highlighted the genuine difficulties in designing a methodology that produces accurate figures that allows for interpretation and action from employers, employees and the wider public. Issues highlighted include:

• Collecting data on ethnicity/burden on businesses - a survey of 80 organisations by PwC found that concerns around the legality of collecting ethnicity data, poor response rates from employees and ensuring employee anonymity were among the most common barriers to publishing ethnicity pay data. The survey found three-quarters of organisations lack the data needed to analyse their ethnicity pay gap, while 40% had not collected data because of concerns around GDPR and other legal restrictions.

• Reporting on a binary basis – one way to mitigate low employee declaration rates is to combine all individuals from an ethnic minority background into a single group for reporting purposes. However, this approach masks the significant variations in labour market outcomes between groups. In 2018, for example, employees of Chinese, Indian and Mixed or Multiple ethnicity all had higher median hourly pay than White British employees, while employees in the Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic groups had the lowest median hourly pay.

• Skewed results - employers highlighted that reporting at a more granular level risks results being skewed by particularly large or small pay values because of low numbers within certain ethnic groups. If an employer with 300 people employs Black individuals in proportion to the wider population (3% of the England and Wales working-age population is Black according to the ONS), it means their average pay would be calculated from just 9 individuals (assuming that organisation has 100% declaration rates). If declaration rates are only 50%, average pay would only be calculated on 4-5 individuals, which is below the proposed threshold of 5 individuals. This would be even lower in Wales where only 0.7% of the working-age population in Black. It is not possible to draw reliable statistics when data is based on too few values.

The Government is continuing to analyse this data and is committed to responding to the consultation by the end of the year at the latest.

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

This is a revised response. The Petitions Committee requested a response which more directly addressed the request of the petition. You can find the original response towards the bottom of the petition page (https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/300105)

Other parliamentary business

Original Government response

The Government ran a consultation from October 2018 to January 2019 on Ethnicity Pay Reporting and received over 300 detailed responses. We are currently analysing the responses.

Building a fairer economy means ensuring the UK’s organisations reflect the nation’s diversity – from factory floor to boardroom. We are committed to working closely with the business community to consider the steps that can be taken to build more inclusive workplaces, including reporting on diversity.

The Race Disparity Unit’s Ethnicity Facts and Figures website already publishes data collected by government about the different experiences of the UK’s ethnic groups at a national level. In 2018/19, the Government consulted on options for going further, exploring possibilities for employer-level ethnicity pay reporting.

Following the consultation, Government has met with businesses and representative organisations to understand the barriers towards reporting and what information could be published to allow for meaningful action to be taken. It is essential that any reporting is reliable and meaningful, and that is why last year we also ran a voluntary methodology testing with a broad range of businesses to better understand the complexities outlined in the consultation using real payroll data.

This work highlighted the genuine difficulties in designing a methodology that produces accurate figures that allows for interpretation and action from employers, employees and the wider public. It is also important that any reporting protects employee anonymity and avoids undue burdens on business.

On 14 June the Prime Minister announced a new cross-government Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities which will examine continuing racial and ethnic inequalities in Britain and ways Government can address these and improve lives. Further information will be published in due course.

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

This response was given on 24 June 2020. The Petitions Committee then requested a revised response, that more directly addressed the request of the petition.

Share your views on ethnic disparities and inequality in the UK

The Government has launched a consultation on ethnic disparities and inequality in the UK, and want to hear from members of the public. There are ten questions, and you can answer any or all of them.

You can find out more about the consultation and contribute here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/ethnic-disparities-and-inequality-in-the-uk-call-for-evidence/ethnic-disparities-and-inequality-in-the-uk-call-for-evidence

The closing date for responses is Monday 30 November 2020.

When will this petition be debated?

The Petitions Committee considered this petition at its first meeting after it reached 100,000 signatures and have agreed it will be scheduled for debate.

Due to the backlog of petitions awaiting debate, and the closure of Westminster Hall between March and October, it has not yet been possible to confirm a date for this debate. As soon as a date for this debate has been confirmed, you’ll get another update.

What is the Petitions Committee?

The Petitions Committee is a cross-party group of MPs that considers e-petitions submitted on Parliament’s petitions website and public (paper) petitions presented to the House of Commons. It is independent of the Government.

Find out more about the Committee: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/326/petitions-committee/

Get real-time updates on the Committee's work by following them on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/HoCPetitions

Find out more about how petitions work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGEOraE08Jk&feature=youtu.be

These are ‘select committees’. Find out how Select Committees work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_2RDuDs44c

Ministerial statement on the report of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities

On Tuesday 20 April, the Minister for Equalities Kemi Badenoch MP gave a statement to the House of Commons on the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities.

The statement follows the Government's publication of the report of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-report-of-the-commission-on-race-and-ethnic-disparities

Watch the statement here: https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/b586787a-eb7f-409b-b20e-9cb31d21ddd0?in=13:38:40

Read the transcript here: https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2021-04-20/debates/1502466F-D06B-402A-B7C0-03452FFB1DA9/CommissionOnRaceAndEthnicDisparities

Ministerial statements are a way for Ministers to bring an important matter to the attention of the House. Find out more about them here: https://www.parliament.uk/about/how/business/statements/

What did the report say about pay gap reporting?

The Commission considered ethnicity pay gap reporting, and recommended that all employers that choose to publish their ethnicity pay figures should also publish a diagnosis and action plan to lay out the reasons for and the strategy to improve any disparities, and also recommended that that the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) be tasked with producing guidance for employers, to support them in reporting pay gaps.

Read the report's section on pay gap reporting here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-report-of-the-commission-on-race-and-ethnic-disparities/employment-fairness-at-work-and-enterprise#ethnicity-pay-gap-reporting

What is the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities?

The Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities (CRED) has been set up by the Government to review inequality in the UK, focusing on areas including poverty, education, employment, health and the criminal justice system. The Commission, which is independent of the Government, will look at outcomes for the whole population.

Find out more about the Commission here: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/commission-on-race-and-ethnic-disparities

Petitions Committee requests update from Government on ethnicity pay reporting

The Petitions Committee has written to the Government to request an update on when the Government plans to publish its response to its 2018 consultation on ethnicity pay reporting.

Read the Committee's letter:
https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/6986/documents/72837/default/

In the letter, the Committee urges the Minister responsible for the issue, Paul Scully MP, to ensure the Government's response to the consultation is published before a debate is held on the petition you signed. The Committee has scheduled this debate for 20 September, after Parliament has returned from the summer recess.

The consultation was launched in October 2018 and sought views from individuals and employers on what ethnicity pay information employers could be asked to report, and which employers should be expected to report this information. Find out more about the consultation:
https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/ethnicity-pay-reporting

The Committee will publish the reply from the Government on its website when it receives it:
https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/326/petitions-committee/news/

You can also follow the Committee on Twitter for updates:
https://twitter.com/HoCPetitions

You will be able to watch the debate on 20 September on the UK Parliament YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/UKParliament

Feed in your views on the ethnicity pay gap on LinkedIn and read a letter from the Government

Are you an employer or an employee with views on, or experiences of, reporting on the ethnicity pay gap?

MPs want to hear from you.

Head over to the House of Commons LinkedIn and comment on the thread to join the conversation: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/house-of-commons_mps-on-the-house-of-commons-petitions-committee-activity-6843531223520813056-b24l

Your comments will be shared with MPs to inform their understanding ahead of the debate.

Watch MPs debate the petition live on Monday 20 November at 4.30pm: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_kb-nzVJ6M

Letter from the Government

Recently MPs on the Petitions Committee received a response from the Government. The response came after Catherine McKinnell MP, Chair of the Petitions Committee, sent a letter about the ethnicity pay gap.

The letter asked the Government to:

  • Update on when it will publish its response to its 2018 consultation on ethnicity pay gap reporting

  • Ensure that the Government publishes its response before the debate on Monday 20 September

In response, the Minister responsible—Paul Scully MP—said:

  • He appreciates the frustration which people will feel about the time it is taking for the Government to respond to the 2018 consultation. The Government remain committed to publishing it

  • The Government believes it makes most sense to respond at the same time as when it responds to the report of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, which made some related recommendations

Read the letter from the Chair of the Petitions Committee here: https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/6986/documents/72837/default/

Read the Minister's reply here: https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/7307/documents/76502/default/