CIPP response to consultation on Ethnicity Pay Reporting

14 January 2019

The CIPP has submitted to government its formal response to the consultation on Ethnicity Pay Reporting.


In her February 2017 report, Race in the Workplace, Baroness McGregor-Smith recommended that the government should legislate to introduce mandatory reporting of ethnicity data. At the time, the government said that the case had been made for ethnicity reporting and it expected businesses to do this voluntarily. The government asked Business in the Community (BITC) to assess what steps employers have taken to haul down workplace barriers and harness the talent of a diverse workforce – they found that barriers persist in the workplace.

Only a small number of employers had chosen to publish ethnicity pay data voluntarily, so in October 2018 the government published a consultation on ethnicity pay reporting  (alongside a Race in the Workplace Charter) asking how a new mandatory reporting requirement should operate.

The government invited views on mirroring some or all elements of the gender pay gap regulations such as proposing the same threshold of 250 employees or above. 


CIPP conclusion and recommendations

From an administrative burden perspective comparability with the methodology applied for gender pay gap would be preferred by our members. However, our members are pragmatic and recognise that this will not achieve the same results because of the different challenges presented by ethnicity classifications.

There must be value achieved through the efforts of the software developers, payroll and HR professionals and so we recognise different methodology will be required.

If the government consider that the time is right to deliver another reporting obligation on employers, in the name of transparency, significant time and structured planning will be needed. Rushed delivery will not achieve accurate outcomes.

Lessons need to be learned from the rollout of gender pay gap reporting with government engaging in greater detail with all affected stakeholders as they continue to consult.

Employers pay processes vary in size and complexity enormously and with the added challenges for gathering accurate ethnicity data, as identified within the consultation paper, will add further layers of complexity.

We see this consultation as the start of a conversation and not the end of it and look forward to being involved in further discussions.


Read the full CIPP response to the consultation on ethnicity pay reporting.

All consultation responses are available in the Policy hub under My CIPP on our website.