DISCLOSURE of the ethnicity pay gap should be made mandatory for all companies, said Simon Woolley, a former senior government adviser on race disparity until last year.
“There’s a strong sense that black people are being paid less,” he said.
Currently, it is not a legal requirement for companies to publish pay-related data based on ethnicity or race.
“It is not the silver bullet,” Lord Woolley said. “But your company will be more vibrant if people are being paid what they’re worth.”
In 2020, calls for firms to improve diversity and equality in the workplace gained momentum.
After the deaths of black Americans George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, the subsequent series of protests calling for an end to racial discrimination prompted a public outpouring of support from the corporate world.
Several firms around the world also made pledges to tackle racism and improve diversity and inclusion. However, progress in this regard is still a big question, the BBC said in a report.
In a letter to the Sunday Times dated June 21, 2020, the leaders of 28 UK-based businesses promised their support to the cause.
Of those, 23 responded to the BBC about their actions.
John McCalla Leacy, a partner and board member of accountancy giant KPMG, told the BBC, “I think, at a personal level, we all saw those awful images come in from the US – and we’re a partnership.”
Nine of the 23 respondent companies committed to publishing an ethnicity pay gap report each year.
A government spokesperson said, “The Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities published its independent report earlier this year, which included recommendations on ethnicity pay reporting.”
“We are considering the commission’s findings on this matter alongside feedback to our consultation on this issue and other work and will respond to the commission’s report in due course,” the spokesperson said.
The death of George Floyd has changed the way the corporate world views diversity, KPMG’s Leacy said.
“Businesses are making bold claims and want to drive lasting change – and the business community is really supportive of each other so that we can all progress forwards,” he said.