ELA response to BEIS consultation: Ethnicity pay reporting

Friday, January 11, 2019
Public Files:

Press release

The Employment Lawyers’ Association (ELA) welcomes the introduction of ethnicity pay reporting in its response, on behalf of its members, to the BEIS consultation.

It is understood that the main purpose of the reporting requirement is for employers to actively monitor recruitment, retention and progression of staff across all ethnicities to ensure that diversity policies are working.  However, in its response, ELA recognises that pay reporting may be a blunt tool. For it to be meaningful, numbers depend on narrative and contextualisation relevant to the reporting employer or sector; as seen with Gender Pay Gap reporting. The ultimate approach regarding Ethnicity Pay Reporting may need to be developed and refined over time, ELA recommends.

In its response, ELA proposes that employers be required to report the percentage of different ethnic groups within each pay quartile in order to demonstrate progression of ethnic groups at work in any given year; and whether representation of ethnic groups improves in later years.  Only the very largest employers (5,000+ employees) should provide a headline ethnicity pay gap figure to ensure that statistics produce a meaningful result.

Kiran Daurka, co-chair of ELA’s working party and partner at Leigh Day, said:
“We hope that pay reporting creates a clear sense for employers that inclusion and diversity is more than just ‘nice to have’; and instead acts as a catalyst to ensure business embrace it as an essential.  It is a very important step towards focusing employers on fair representation at all levels of an organisation.

“ELA is mindful that many employers do not already collect ethnicity data and we would recommend a reasonable lead-in period to allow employers to start introducing and implementing classification systems using the 2011 Census categories.

“We recommend that the government collates and publishes ethnicity pay gap figures across sectors to ensure that meaningful data is used.”

ELA Working party

Kiran Daurka, Leigh Day
Robert Davies, Gummer & Co

Natasha Adom, GQ Littler
Catriona Aldridge, CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
Shubha Banerjee, Leigh Day
Charlene Brown, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP
Sylvia Chan, MS Rubric Law Limited
Adele Edwin-Lamerton, Pattinson & Brewer
Naomi Gyane, Pump Court Chambers
Tony Hadden, Brodies LLP
Schona Jolly QC Cloisters
Patti Kachidza
Esther Langdon, Vedder Price
Fiona Macdonald, Keystone Law
Daniella McGuigan, Ogletree Deakins International LLP
Joseph Nicholls, Hodge Jones and Allen LLP
Philippa O’Malley, Linklaters LLP
Chinwe Odimba-Chapman, Clifford Chance LLP
Ijeoma Omambala, Old Square Chambers
Anish Pathak, Fox & Partners
Tom Pimenta, Boyes Turner
Doreen Reeves, Slater and Gordon
Tanushree Sehmbi, Sky UK Limited
Gemma Taylor, Baker & McKenzie
Jennifer Wright, Legal Advice Centre, University of Law

The legal content in this article is believed to be correct and true on this date.