5th April 2022

Report summary: Women and Equalities Committee Report on Ethnicity Pay Gap Reporting

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Report Summary  

Ethnicity pay gap reporting  

House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee Government Report, published February 2022  

Multicoloured geometric pillars, captioned 'enei Report Summaries; Women and Equalities Committee Report on Ethnicity Pay Gap Reporting'



On 12 January 2022, the Women and Equalities Committee held a one-off evidence session examining the case for mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting. In 2017, it was proposed that the Government introduce mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting, and in 2018 the Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) launched a consultation and recognised that the timing was appropriate. 


Since that consultation, the Government has cited a “wide range of technical and data challenges that ethnicity pay gap reporting brings” and has yet to publish a response. Most recently, the Government replied to the committee’s questions by saying they will respond in due course. 

During this evidence session, witnesses representing business, industry, human resources, and trade unions noted that collecting data is not enough to facilitate change, and that organisations must be held accountable for addressing disparities they may find. It was recommended that employers should ask their employees to share information based on the ethnicity categories listed in the most recent census, versus giving them a binary white/non-white option. Highlighted in the session was the need to make clear that sample size and data protection (from a legal standpoint) are not barriers to this action. Finally, the need for enforcement processes was echoed.  

This report concluded that the Government should introduce mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting by April 2023 (for all organisations that currently report gender pay gaps) and produce guidance with clear expectations on data protection, methods, and enforcement. Finally, the committee recommended that this legislation should include the requirement for employers to publish a supporting narrative and action plan. 


This report was published on 8 February 2022 by authority of the House of Commons. It can be downloaded from this link (https://committees.parliament.uk/oralevidence/3250/html/). This post was created on 25 March 2022.  

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