Call for ethnicity and disability audits

Disability at work

 

The Equality and Human Rights Commission is calling for mandatory reporting for larger employers of data on staff recruitment, retention and promotion by ethnicity and disability.

It published research this week showing that most employers fail to collect this data or do so inconsistently. It says that this means they are unable to remove the barriers to the progression and representation of disabled and ethnic minority staff in the workplace.

The research found that whilst 77% of employers say that ensuring workforce diversity is a priority for their organisation:

  • less than half (44%) record or collect data on whether employees are disabled or not
  • only one-third (36%) record or collect data on employee ethnicity
  • even fewer (23%) collect data on staff pay and progression that can be broken down by ethnicity and disabled and non-disabled staff
  • only 3% of organisations actually analyse this data to explore differences in pay and progression between different ethnicities and disabled and non-disabled staff

Just over half of employers say that they face barriers to collecting this data, including that it is too intrusive and onerous. The research also found that employers tend to use binary categories such as White/BAME and Disabled/non-disabled when reporting, which it says disguises vast differences between pay gaps for different ethnic minority groups or for people with different impairments.

Practical Guidance

The EHRC is working with the Office for National Statistics, the Government and others to provide practical guidance on how to sensitively and consistently collect, report on and use employee data on ethnicity and disability.

The EHRC also says that it should be a legal requirement by April 2020 that employers with over 250 employees monitor and report on ethnicity and disability in recruitment, retention and progression and publish a narrative and action plan alongside their data explaining why pay gaps are present and what they will do to close it.

Caroline Waters, Deputy Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said: “We’ve seen how mandatory reporting has led to employers redoubling efforts to address their gender pay gaps. We need the same level of scrutiny and focused action on opportunities for disabled and ethnic minority staff in the workplace.”





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