On Wednesday 12th July 2023, I attended a roundtable discussion on Ethnicity Pay Gap reporting at the House of Commons hosted by Runnymede Trust and ShareAction. The roundtable was chaired by Yasmin Qureshi MP and was attended by those with knowledge and experience on Ethnicity Pay Gap.
We discussed the importance of the government making the Ethnicity Pay Gap reporting mandatory and for businesses to acknowledge the moral responsibility alongside the business responsibility to ensure that they report their pay gap and make all efforts to close it.
The room was unanimous on the need for mandatory reporting and recognised the adverse effect it would have if Ethnicity Pay Gap reporting was not made mandatory. We also recognised the challenges some organisations could have in reporting their Ethnicity Pay Gap. We explored how organisations could overcome these challenges and agreed that the challenges were not insurmountable, all it would take is the will to take action and decide the right approach for their organisation. Although there are many toolkits out there, the approach cannot be one size fits all as organisations have their own unique blueprint that they must work within to make Ethnicity Pay Gap reporting achievable. This approach should also factor in action plans to close the gap to ensure the results of the reporting are used as a significant guide to making changes to close the gap.
As I reflect on the roundtable event, I note the positivity of action that all in the room had regarding mandatory reporting and the need to find an organisational action plan to deal with the issue and not as my colleague Anthony Horrigan put it, look over to see what another organisation is doing in the hope that they can copy it. It is evident that one size will not fit all so organisations need to take guidance from people who are in the know such as Anthony and Nigel Marriot who are experts in pay gap data analysis.
This brings me nicely to a news article by The Voice Newspaper published Monday 17th July 2023, noting that the government’s Ethnicity Pay Gap Response paper has determined that ‘it isn’t the right time’ to make Ethnicity Pay Gap reporting mandatory. I was asked to give my response. Notwithstanding that it is an insult to the people that the Ethnicity Pay Gap affects to say it is not the right time, there is so much in the report that is wrong. Highlighting the difficulties of reporting the Ethnicity Pay Gap is an extremely poor approach that does nothing to put companies at it ease but it does give companies a get-out clause should they choose to use it.
The whole tone of the response was negative and unhelpful. The voice of those the Ethnicity Pay Gap affects was overlooked which is a thoughtless act in my opinion.
As evidenced previously, from the roundtable discussions at the House of Commons it confirms what I have always said, If you have the will to make change you no doubt find a way. You may need support but support is out there. I myself offer consulting in this area and my colleagues mentioned are experts in data analytics.
Change will come but only with the will of the people, we need to stand up together and ensure the right action is taken by the government.