The Equality and Human Rights Commission is calling for employers to disclose data on ethnicity and disability pay gaps.
It calls upon the government to keep a close eye on the effectiveness of mandatory gender pay gap reporting introduced earlier this year. Private sector and voluntary employers with 250 or more employees in England, Wales and Scotland were required to publish their first gender pay report by 4th April 2018. This information needed to be published on the company’s website and uploaded to the government’s website. Subsequent reports are required by the 4th April every year.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission urges the government to consult with employers about the best way to broaden the reporting requirements to cover ethnicity and disability pay gaps.
As it currently stands, their research shows that 77% of employers state that ensuring there is workforce diversity is a priority. But only 44% of employers collect data on disabilities and 36% on ethnicity. Most staggering of all, only 3% of employers examine the data to see the differences in pay and progression between different ethnic groups and between disabled and non disabled employees.
Why are employers reluctant to collect data on ethnicity and disability?
At present, employers are not legally obliged to report on ethnicity and disability pay gaps. In fact, the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s research has shown that over 50% of employers affirmed that there are hurdles to collecting data on the ethnicity and disability of their employers. 32% of employers said that it was too invasive and 20% said that the collection of this type of this data is onerous. 3% claimed it is too expensive and 4% stated that there is no real need to collect it.
However, employers also recognised they are some ways to overcome these hurdles. 70% of employers said that they could make it clear to employees how the data would be utilised. 58% stated that they could create a way to collect this data in a simple way, for instance, via an online form. 48% of employers reported that obliging employers to collect this data would help to rise above the obstacles.
Mandatory gender pay reporting has shone a spotlight on employers’ gender pay practices and resulted in many employers having to manage the fallout with their employees and find ways to address the pay issues in their organisation. With their proposal, the Equality and Human Rights Commission is hoping for a similar result in regards to disabled and ethnic minority staff.