A Guide for General Counsels – Ethnicity Pay Gap Reporting

Co-written by Hogan Lovells and Business in the Community (BITC) this guide for General Counsels, focuses on some of the legal considerations behind ethnicity pay gap reporting.

Co-written by Hogan Lovells and Business in the Community (BITC) this guide for General Counsels, focuses
on some of the legal considerations behind ethnicity pay gap reporting. In particular, data protection and
employment concerns.

About mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting

There is a growing movement, for ethnicity pay gap reporting to become mandatory. The government ran a consultation for employers that ended in January 2019. In October 2020 30 business leaders signed an open letter to the Prime Minister calling for mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting. In February 2021, the Women and Equalities Select Committee in its report Unequal impact? Coronavirus and the gendered economic impact called for the government to publish proposals within the next six months.

About A Guide for General Counsels: Insights into Ethnicity Pay Gap Reporting

There is no set way to publish an ethnicity pay gap report. This report does not attempt to address that. It is designed to start a conversation about how to innovate in an area of policy and law that is in flux.

The report covers some of the legal considerations behind ethnicity pay gap reporting, in particular, data protection and employment concerns. In addition to debunking the legal myths that may prevent organisations from publishing their reports this guide for General Counsels aims to:

  • encourage organisations to publish their pay gap
  • analyse the anatomy of a really powerful ethnicity pay gap report. Often this means going beyond the obligations that have been in place for gender pay gap reporting, that has been mandatory for certain businesses since April 2017
  • celebrate the hard work of the many BITC Race at Work Charter signatories that have voluntarily published their ethnicity pay gaps.

Find out more about signing BITC’s Race at Work Charter. Five calls to action to ensure that ethnic minority employees are represented at all levels in an organisation.

A note on language

Please note that at the time of publication, there is an important discussion happening about how ethnic
identifiers should change in the future. This guide looks at ethnicity pay gap reports published before April 2021, and the term “BAME” (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) was most often used. Therefore, it is also employed here with the understanding that its use is very likely to change.

About Business in the Community’s work on race

share your experiences

Business in the Community (BITC) believes every employer must prioritise action on race.

We support employers to ensure that ethnic minority employees are represented at all levels. These aims and issue areas enable us to provide the most relevant and insightful support to members. They also inform our engagement with government, industry stakeholders and employers when campaigning for wider societal and organisational change.

For more information on BITC’s framework for supporting employers with promoting racial equality in the workplace, visit the Business in the Community race campaign web page.