Today (15th August 2017) the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has published its strategy for reducing gender, ethnicity and disability pay gaps. The strategy’s recommendations include advertising all jobs for flexible working, reporting on ethnicity and disability pay gaps, and tackling unconscious bias in recruitment and progression processes.
Responding to the announcement, Sandra Kerr OBE, Race Equality Director, Business in the Community, said:
‘I welcome the EHRC decision to focus on pay gaps for ethnicity and disability as well as gender. We know that employers getting race equality the in the workplace right is worth £24bn per year to the UK economy. Flexibility at work is not only helpful for those with caring responsibilities for children or parents, but also supports those who may need a reasonable adjustment for disability, who wish to downshift their working pattern because of age or who need flexibility for religious observance.
“The challenges of occupational segregation which results in women and some Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people being under represented with in some high earning sectors should also be addressed. Where possible, data on sector representation should be simple and easy to access at a national , regional and local level so that targets to tackle disparities by increasing targeted action on recruitment, progression and leadership profiling of diverse role models and ensuring there is a pipeline of talent into these industries can be put into place.
“This week the TUC has published findings that black workers with A-levels earn 10% less than their white counterparts and the pay gap for black workers often increases with more qualifications. The Business in the Community Diversity Benchmark also consistently shows that BAME employees are less likely to receive one of the top two performance markings, be identified as high potential or put forward for management training. Employers must take action to ensure that there is no bias in their performance and reward processes and set targets to close any persistent performance gaps that may exist by gender, disability or ethnic background in the workplace.”