13 November 2020 | Comment | Article by Kate Walsh

Initiatives to tackle racial inequality in the workplace

In our forthcoming Equality & Diversity webinar as part of #HJhousing week, we will take a closer look at the range of characteristics which attract protection under the Equality Act 2010. In this blog, we will focus on the protected characteristic of race and what initiatives have been put in place or proposed to try and tackle racial inequality at work.

Over the last four years, a number of reports and reviews have been published which take a closer look at racial inequality in the workplace and the required action for change. One of the recommendations flowing from the various reports is mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting.

It seems as though slow progress is being made in this area, despite mandatory gender pay gap reporting being in place for larger employers since 2017. The consultation on mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting closed on 11 January 2019 so we are still waiting for Parliament to debate this issue. In the meantime, pressure is being applied from the likes of the CBI and Legal and General Investment Management (“LGIM”) to strive for racial equality in the workplace. LGIM is the UK’s largest fund manager and has a 2-3% stake in nearly every listed FTSE 100 company. It has written to each company requesting that by January 2022, each of their boards are to have at least one BAME member.

You may also want to keep a close eye on the CBI’s “Change the Race Ratio” campaign as it gathers momentum.

Employers are also considering the findings from the Race at Work 2018: The Scorecard Report which assesses how UK employers are performing against previous recommendations to tackle race inequality in the workplace. The Scorecard Report led to Business in the Community creating a “Race at Work Charter” which condenses the issues down into five calls for action:

  • Appoint an executive sponsor for race.
  • Capture ethnicity data and publicise progress.
  • Commit at board level to zero tolerance of harassment and bullying.
  • Making equality in the workplace the responsibility of all leaders and managers.
  • Take action that supports ethnic minority career progression.


We will be considering some of these issues at our Equality & Diversity webinar on 25 November; find out more about the webinar or register below. 

Register for the Equality & Diversity Webinar

The third live event of HJ Housing Week focuses on Equality & Diversity. Hosted by Kate Walsh, Associate in the Employment & HR Services team, who will take a closer look at the protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010 and will talk you through the recent case law on this issue. The session will include a chance for you to test your own knowledge on potential discriminatory acts and consider practical tips for improving equality and diversity in your organisation.

REGISTER FOR THE Equality & diversity webinar


Webinar: Equality & Diversity | Hugh James A closer look at protected characteristics and improving recruitment practices

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HJ Housing Week | 2020


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Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.

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