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Employment Law & HR News & Updates.

Employment Law Updates

The latest employment law news & updates from Kalra Legal Group
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Review into BME Workplace Progression Published

A recently published review into black and minority ethnic (BME) progression at work has claimed that the UK economy could receive a boost of £24 billion a year if BME people progressed in work at the same rate as their white counterparts.

BME Employees Still Being Held Back

The independent Baroness McGregor-Smith Review found people from BME backgrounds are still being held back in the workplace because of the colour of their skin, costing the UK economy the equivalent of 1.3% in GDP a year.

The review also found employment rates for people from BME backgrounds are 12% lower than their white counterparts at 62.8%, with just six per cent reaching top level management positions.

Recommendations Following Review

The review has made a series of recommendations and is urging large employers to lead the way in tackling barriers to BME progression. It has called on companies with more than 50 employees to:

  • Publish a breakdown of their workforce by race and pay band
  • Draw up five-year aspirational diversity targets
  • Nominate a board member to deliver on these targets

“It is very wrong that so many barriers lie in the way of people from ethnic minority backgrounds,” commented Business Minister Margot James. “Outdated attitudes or lack of awareness about ethnicity, in the workplace must be challenged.”

“As this report shows, the economic benefit of harnessing untapped talent is huge and I urge employers to implement these recommendations to ensure everyone can reach the top of their career – whatever their background,” she added.

BME Gender Pay Gap

A second recently published report has also looked at the progress of minority ethnic groups in the workplace, this time focusing specifically on the gender pay gap that exists for these groups.

The analysis by the Fawcett Society charts the ethnic gender pay gap over the past 25 years, and reveals real inequalities, with some minority ethnic groups making great strides while pay for others lags far behind

The report reveals:

  • Black African women have seen virtually no progress since the 1990s in closing the gender pay gap with White British men, with a full-time pay gap of 21.4% in the 1990s and 19.6% today. When part-time workers are included this figure rises to 24%.
  • Pakistani and Bangladeshi women experience the largest aggregate (i.e. including full-time and part-time workers) gender pay gap at 26.2%.
  • Indian women experience the biggest pay gap with men in their ethnic group at 16.1%.
  • White British women have a larger pay gap than Black Caribbean women, Indian women or those who identify as ‘White Other’.
  • Women who identify as ‘White Other’ are the only group who have seen their pay gap widen since the 1990s from 3.5% to 14% today.

The report also reveals some women experiencing real progress, including:

  • Black Caribbean women in full-time work have overtaken Black Caribbean men so that they now have a reverse pay gap of -8.8%. They also fare better than White British women when compared with White British men (a 5.5% vs 13.9% pay gap).
  • Chinese women have reversed their pay gap since the 1990s. Those in full-time work now earn more per hour than White British men (a reverse gap of -5.6%), but the gap between Chinese men and women has widened from 4.6% in 2000s, to 11.6% in 2010s.

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Discrimination in the Workplace - Discrimination a...
Trade Union Act 2016

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