‘There is an equality argument for closing pay gaps: no one should be at a disadvantage because of their gender, ethnic origin or disability status.’
This is according to an August 2018 report by the EHRC on measuring and reporting on disability and ethnicity pay gaps.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) want to extend the focus on gender inequality at work to ethnic minority groups and disabled people through pay gap reporting.
The report finds that:
- The majority of employers (77%) report that ensuring workforce diversity is a priority and many are committed to supporting employees with protected characteristics.
- However, only only 36% of employers collect and analyse data to see if there are differences in pay and progression for employees from different ethnic groups.
- Only 44% of employers do this for disabled and non-disabled employees.
- Just over half of employers report barriers to collecting data on the ethnicity and disability of employers, such as it is too intrusive or onerous.
On the disability pay gap, the report finds:
- The disability pay gap tends to be large for people with mental illnesses (up to 40% for men) and learning difficulties or disabilities (up to 60% for men).
- People with physical disabilities experience slightly lower pay gaps on average (up to 28% for men and 18% for women).
On the ethnicity pay gap, the report finds:
- The ethnicity pay gap is particularly large for men, has not narrowed over recent decades, and it has increased for some groups.
- For women, the ethnicity pay gap has remained relatively stable over time, and it is smaller in absolute terms than for men.
- Some of the ethnicity pay gap is explained by occupational segregation. Other factors include regional segregation and qualification levels.
It concludes that employers should be given support and guidance for collecting and analysing recruitment, retention and progression employment data. This will help them to understand and address inequalities that people with disabilities and those from ethnic minority backgrounds face in the workplace.