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 discussed some of these issues at our Equality & Diversity webinar.