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Lords debates ethnic pay gap reporting

26 October 2021

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In Black History Month, find out about current work by Black members highlighting issues affecting Black and ethnic minority communities. 

Black History Month

Members regularly raise concerns about issues affecting Black communities in the House of Lords. This Black History Month, the House of Lords debated ethnic pay gap reporting on Monday 25 October.

Ethnic pay gap reporting

Lord Boateng

Lord Boateng (Labour), the first Black member of the Cabinet, put forward the debate.  

Members debated the benefits of mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting, and calls by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the Trades Union Congress (TUC), and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), for it to be introduced.

Ending race discrimination

BAME groups experience a poverty rate that is twice as high as that of their white counterparts. Members stressed that mandatory ethnic pay gap reporting is potentially a game-changing enabler for ethnic minority participation in the UK's economic reward system. 

Moral and economic case

Members highlighted that building diverse and inclusive workplaces is not only the right thing to do, it also makes good business sense. They said having full representation of ethnic minority workers in the labour market would benefit the UK economy in its post-COVID recovery. 

Time to act

Many members referred to the government's own reviews and reflected on the government's need to take action. Members highlighted research which showed ethnic pay gaps widen regionally, so taking action would align with its 'levelling up' agenda.

There was recognition that measuring ethnic minority pay gaps is complex but members called on the government to set out guidance for employers.


Members taking part included: 

Get involved

Watch and read the debate

Catch up on Parliament TV or read the Lords Hansard transcript.

Explore further information

Read background research from the House of Lords Library in its briefing on ethnic pay gap reporting