Plans to report on ethnicity and disability pay gap may cause reporting difficulties

There are plans to start to reveal their ethnicity and disability pay gap, following on from the gender pay gap legislation which requires organisations with over 250 employees to disclose the difference in pay between male and female employees. The plan is aimed at creating a fairer and more diverse workforce, and removing the barriers facing disabled and black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) employees in progressing to the highest positions of an organisation.

Research for the Equality and Human Rights Commission found that people with learning difficulties or disabilities experience pay gaps of up to 60%, while individuals with mental illnesses experience gaps up to 40%.

Research has revealed that the ethnicity pay gap can reach as high as 17% for some minorities in the UK. Just 3% of large companies have voluntarily revealed their disability and ethnicity pay gaps so far.

Gender pay gap reporting was relatively straightforward for employers because they already held this data on file, but this isn’t the case for data relating to ethnicity and disability. If this is implemented, businesses will be required to carry out an audit of data to ascertain what data is on file about employees from ethnic backgrounds and where there are gaps in data, employee data will require to be harvested.

There is another difficulty in that it will have to established how disabilities will be classified – is it for the employee or the employer to determine what and who is disabled?

There is no doubt that if this legislation is introduced, businesses will have to change the way they attract and recruit staff and store personal data!

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