Government report on race is a missed opportunity

Sandra Kerr CBE responds to the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities report.

Today, the government’s Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities published its report. Business in the Community’s (BITC) Race Director Sandra Kerr CBE says:   

‘There are some fine words in this report, but nothing which we haven’t seen before. We don’t need 24 new recommendations; we need action on those set out in the 2017 McGregor-Smith Review. Most of all, we need the introduction of ethnicity pay gap reporting. The report isn’t the full picture. Discouraging the term ‘BAME’ (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) doesn’t tackle the real issue: people are still just not comfortable talking about race.  

Frankly, we cannot say that the UK is better than the rest of the world when we can’t even start something as basic as mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting. Publishing data may not be a silver bullet, but it is a line in the sand. That’s why the call to publish and capture ethnicity data is one of the five points in BITC’s Race at Work Charter, which now has 635 business signatories and covers 5.5 million employees.  

It’s time for the government to work with employers publishing voluntarily, not take credit for their hard work.  

The Commission has missed its opportunity, but I hope the Prime Minister does not. The business world is watching.’ 

ENDS

Media contact:
Isabel Wilkinson, Head of Media, Public Affairs and Policy: Isabel.wilkinson@bitc.org.uk; 07702 903 216

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