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Retailers could be forced to publish ethnicity pay gaps

Prime minister Theresa May has announced a series of measures to tackle ethnic disparities in the workplace, which includes the mandatory publishing of ethnicity pay gaps.

The government has invited businesses to share its views on this mandatory approach to ethnicity pay reporting, since according to the group the number of organisations publishing information on the pay gap for people from different ethnic backgrounds voluntarily remains low.

The consultation, open until January 2019, will set out in detail what information employers should publish to allow for decisive action to be taken while also asking them how ethnicity data can be collected without placing “undue burdens on businesses”.

The consultation on ethnicity pay reporting is in response to the Race Disparity Audit’s ‘ethnicity facts and figures’ website data, which revealed significant disparities in the pay and progression of ethnic minority employees compared to their white counterparts.

May said: “Every employee deserves the opportunity to progress and fulfil their potential in their chosen field, regardless of which background they are from, but too often ethnic minority employees feel they’re hitting a brick wall when it comes to career progression.

“Our focus is now on making sure the UK’s organisations, boardrooms and senior management teams are truly reflective of the workplaces they manage, and the measures we are taking today will help employers identify the actions needed to create a fairer and more diverse workforce.”

Sandra Kerr, Business in the Community race equality director, added: “All organisations should recruit from the widest pool of talent and support progression. The race at work survey of over 24,000 employees showed that all too often ethnic minority staff are still encountering significant disparities at work.

“The race at work charter will support leaders and line managers to take practical steps to tackle the barriers, with five clear actions. By signing up, we can ensure the workplace is representative of British society today.”

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