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Government to propose mandatory ethnic pay gap reporting

As UK companies with more than 250 employees are now required to publish gender pay gap information, the government has turned its attention to the ethnicity pay gap.

On 11 October 2018, the government launched a consultation seeking views on ethnicity pay reporting by employers to inform future government policy. The consultation, which closes on 11 January 2019, asks what ethnicity pay information should be reported by employers to facilitate meaningful action, without unduly burdening businesses.

The consultation focuses on what ethnic pay reporting should look like and how it should be introduced. It outlines different approaches to reporting, ranging from the average hourly earnings of different ethnic groups to reporting ethnicity pay information by pay band or quartile. The government is also seeking views on whether any contextual factors, such as gender or age, should form part of the reported information.

Alongside its consultation, the government has also announced a new “Race at Work Charter”. Employers who adopt the charter (which is voluntary) will commit themselves to a set of principles that aim to improve recruitment and progression for employees from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Although ethnic pay gap reporting is currently not mandatory, employers who want to be seen as serious about diversity and equality may want to consider reporting. Hopefully many will have a positive tale to tell, helping them attract top talent from all ethnic backgrounds; those who find that they do have a material ethnic pay gap will be able to take action to tackle it and report their progress in doing so.

 

Government to propose mandatory ethnic pay gap reporting

NHS accused of ethnic discrimination following senior doctors’ pay gap

Recent research published by the British Medical Journal suggests that senior doctors from black or minority ethnic (‘BME’) backgrounds earn approximately 4.9% (or £5,000) less in mean basic pay than their colleagues from a white ethnic background within the NHS.

The findings of the study also demonstrate that:

  • BME doctors feel discriminated against in relation to clinical excellence awards, interviews and promotions which is perhaps supported by the fact that only 7% of senior managers in the NHS are from a BME origin; and
  • a high number of BME doctors (when compared to their colleagues from a white ethnic background) work in unpopular specialities within the NHS, such as psychiatry or rehab medicine, and in remote districts.

The Director of Research and Chief Economist at the Nuffield Trust thinktank, John Appleby, has questioned whether the pay gap could be due to consultants working in the NHS from a white ethnic background typically being older and more experienced than their BME colleagues. However the disparity between salaries is too large to go unnoticed and requires further investigation. The BMA chair, Dr. Chaand Nagpaul, has insisted that the government and NHS address this suspected disparity and, in response, the NHS has commissioned its own study and confirmed its intentions to tackle the issue.  It remains to be seen how its will achieve this. In the meantime, an ongoing inquiry into the gender pay gap within the NHS should also help identify the reasons behind the gap and workable solutions for reducing it.

NHS accused of ethnic discrimination following senior doctors’ pay gap

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Eid al-Adha (known as the festival of sacrifice), the Islamic holiday marking the end of the Hajj pilgrimage, is due to begin this coming Tuesday (21 August). The festival is celebrated with prayer and feast, typically on a large scale with Muslims in their respective communities coming together to partake in the festivities. Many Muslims may request time off work to celebrate Eid al-Adha, so here are a few considerations for employers to bear in mind as the holiday approaches.
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The Equality Act 2010 (the 2010 Act) prohibits direct discrimination, indirect discrimination and harassment in the workplace in respect of religion, religious belief and philosophical belief.
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Government proposes major overhaul of Gender Recognition Act

The Government Equality Office (GEO) is proposing reform of the Gender Recognition Act 2004. This Act enables transgender people to obtain legal recognition of their acquired gender by the issuing of a Gender Recognition Certificate and changing the sex on their birth certificate.
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“Pitiful” and “patronising” – the excuses given for the lack of female presence in FTSE boardrooms

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Lawful dress codes… and work appropriate yoga leggings!

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EHRC gender pay gap investigations

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has written to the Government informing it that in June it will be commencing the first of its gender pay gap investigations into employers who have failed to comply with their gender pay gap (GPG) reporting obligations. The announcement should not come as a surprise as the EHRC issued a warning prior to 4 April 2018 deadline that any companies which failed to comply with their reporting obligations could face enforcement action in the form of a fine or an investigation.
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EHRC gender pay gap investigations