Last reviewed 27 July 2022

Whoever becomes the next Prime Minister can be sure that they will not lack for advice on the measures that they need to introduce to tackle the problems facing the country.

In fact this has already started as Business in the Community (BITC) has not waited for the conclusion of the selection process but has already told the new Prime Minister that he or she must introduce mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting by April 2023.

It has pointed out that the Women and Equalities Select Committee said, earlier this year, that it would support such a move.

Furthermore, business leaders have been campaigning for mandatory reporting, with 30 from companies such as KPMG and Shell signing an open letter to the Government in 2020. This can be found here.

The BITC has highlighted that, although there has been an increase of 8% of employers capturing ethnicity pay gap data, increasing from 11% in 2018 to 19% in 2021, it could take until 2075 for companies who currently capture their ethnicity pay gap data to publish their pay gap unless the Government takes action.

BITC Race Director, Sandra Kerr, said: “I have always been clear that while reporting won’t solve everything, it will help businesses focus on where action is needed most. I hope the new Prime Minister understands that businesses want reporting to be made mandatory as they see it as a tool rather than a burden.”

Comment by Kate Palmer, HR Advice and Consultancy Director at Peninsula

Introducing ethnicity reporting can be a useful way of evaluating the number of underrepresented employees and proactively take steps to increase this.

However, business should also consider wider approaches to encouraging workplace inclusion.

For example, introducing diversity and unconscious bias training for managers and communicating a clear zero-tolerance approach to any form of bullying, discrimination or harassment related to race and ethnicity.