I hope many of you engaged in Ethnicity Pay Gap Day which was on the 8th January. There was quite a lot of engagement and I have written about this already. We also held our first Board meeting in January which was fully of some creative ideas and actions to enhance the presence of the campaign. We all agreed that more action needed to be taken to increase visibility of the campaign and to continue to be part of any research in this area.
Yesterday I attended UK Parliament Roundtable discussion on the Ethnicity Pay Gap which was organised by Unison. In attendance was Gloria Mills, Unison Equalities National Secretary, Bell Riberio-Addy MP, Anneliese Dodds, MP for Oxford East, David Lammy MP, Florence Eshalomi, MP for Vauxhall and Anum Qaisar, MP for Airdrie and Shotts. This was a cross party affair to fully galvanise the weight of parliament to this issue.
What was great to see was the passion that everyone came with to fully accelerate and rejuvenate this issue as it seems the sitting government do not have the appetite to do what they promised in 2018. The open statement by Gloria Mills really set the scene for the discussions acknowledging the effects the Ethnicity Pay Gap was having on Black workers. She also Evidenced that this economic downward spiral we find ourselves is having a major affect on Black workers and is exacerbated by the Ethnicity Pay Gap.
The roundtable discussion really highlighted the need for action on this issue. We cannot afford to wait for the government to wake up and put more importance on this situation. We also cannot leave it to organisations to self-determine this issue. It was evidenced that there was a 50% reduction last year in organisation reporting their Ethnicity Pay Gap so that goes to show regulation is needed to ensure compliance.
But it should not stop there. We also need to make sure organisation have a clear plan to close the gaps in their organisations. It is not enough just to report on it, action must be taken to eradicate it. Until this is done, nothing will change.
I think unions have an important part to play in making change. Unison has put both feet into this issue by supporting the #EthnicityPayGap Campaign I think it’s time for other unions to do the same. I know that other unions are supporting the need for mandatory reporting of the Ethnicity Pay Gap, however they have not taken the next step to support the #EthnicityPayGap Campaign.
Unity in action is the only way we can make change, I do urge you to get involved with the campaign or lobby your local MP. Start having community action plans to raise awareness of this issue, open up dialogue in your organisation.