BITC responds to the publication of ethnicity pay gap reporting guidance
Today, the Government published guidance for employers on ethnicity pay gap reporting. Responding to this, Sandra Kerr CBE, Race Director at Business in the Community, said,
“It is good news that the Government has published voluntary guidance for employers on ethnicity pay gap reporting. This shows that the Government clearly understands that there is a discrepancy in pay for people from Black, Asian, Mixed Race and other ethnically diverse backgrounds.
“While the voluntary guidance is a welcomed step, BITC has been clear that with 18.3% of people in England and Wales from a diverse ethnic background the only way to close the ethnicity pay gap is to make reporting mandatory for businesses with over 250 employees. Publishing ethnicity pay gap data is the easiest part of the action needed to close the pay gap; the real work will begin when we know the scale of the problem and the collective response needed to address it. I hope that the commitment the Government has shown to providing voluntary guidance for employers will be followed swiftly by making ethnicity pay gap reporting mandatory.”
Data shows that Black, Asian, Mixed Race and other ethnically diverse people now account for 18.3% of the population (10.9 million), marking a significant 4.3 percentage increase since the last census in 2011. When it comes to the working-age population, 62.1% of the White population in England and Wales are of working age compared to 66.5% of the ethnically diverse population.
This means that now one in five of the working-age population is ethnically diverse.  By 2051, the ethnically diverse working-age population is expected to grow to nearly a third. BITC’s Race campaign has worked to highlight the inequalities that many Black, Asian, Mixed Race and other ethnically diverse employees experience in UK workplaces. In 2021, BITC conducted its third Race at Work survey, capturing the views of nearly 25,000 employees across the UK.
The 2021 survey found that 23% of ethnically diverse people in the UK felt their ethnic background was a barrier to making the next step in their career.  This was higher (32%) for Pakistani and 38% for Black African respondents. In the nations and regions, ethnically diverse people were more likely to think that their ethnic background is a barrier to taking the next step in their career in London (18%) compared to 7% in the South West. 
The survey also found that ethnically diverse people were more likely to report that they have been overlooked for a promotion in their current place of work, with ethnically diverse people in East of England, North East and London (26%) most likely to agree with this compared to those in the West Midlands (22%) who were least likely to agree. 
For further information, please contact Aoife Butler Nolan, Head of Media, Public Affairs and Policy, on 07702 903 216.
Notes to Editor
- Full percentage is 19.3%.
- BITC: The Scorecard Report – Race at Work.
- Full breakdown of ethnically diverse people living in England and Wales who think that their ethnic background is a barrier to taking the next step in their career: 18% in London, 13% in East of England and West Midlands, 12% in East Midlands and North West, 10% in Yorkshire and the Humber, 9% in South East, 8% in Wales and North East and 7% in South West.
- Full breakdown of ethnically diverse people to report that they have been overlooked for a promotion in their current place of work: 26% in the East of England, North East and London, 25% in North West, 24% in South East and Yorkshire & The Humber, 23% in East Midlands, Wales and South West and 22% in West Midlands.