Lib Dems set out plans to close the ethnicity pay gap

Today, Liberal Democrats set out plans to introduce mandatory reporting on the ethnicity pay gap for organisations with 250 employees or more.

Employee ethnicity data is currently patchy at best and there is no uniform way to collect it making monitoring and analysis difficult.

The Liberal Democrats believe that every person, regardless of their ethnicity, should be allowed to reach their full potential in the workplace.

Announcing the policy, Tim Farron said:

“Jo Swinson fought an uphill struggle against the Conservatives in Coalition to get gender pay gap reporting into law, but the fight doesn’t stop there. It is shocking that in 21st Century Britain inequality that comes down to race still persists.

“Sunlight is always the best disinfectant and by bringing these gaps out into the open we can start to address the issue and speed up progress to create a more equal and fair workplace.”

Jo Swinson, Liberal Democrat Campaign Spokesperson and former Business Minister added:

“The gender pay gap and the BAME pay gap are a sign that we are failing to make the most of talent in the workplace, which is bad for our economy.

“Information is powerful, but while organisations are allowed to get away with keeping patchy records, we’ll never know the full extent of the gap. Gender pay gap reporting is already making employers look again at how they attract, retain, promote and pay women and men.

“Transparent data on the BAME pay gap will help employers focus on what they need to do to ensure equal opportunities at work for people of all ethnic backgrounds.

“The Liberal Democrats believe that in order to grow the economy we can leave no one behind, it is not only morally just but good business-sense to close the gap.”

Ross Shipman, Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate for Bolsover said: “In 2017, we shouldn’t be having this conversation really, but we are; and the Liberal Democrats are once again out in front leading on policies to ensure future equality, regardless of peoples ethnicity.”

“The Liberal Democrats are renown for our progressive policies and we will champion them until the cows come home.”

“On 8th June you don’t have to choose between a UKIP backed Conservative Party or a Communist supported Labour Party – you can make the decision to change Britain’s future for the better by voting Liberal Democrats.”


The McGregor-Smith review conducted in the last Parliament argued that “what we have learned from the debate on gender is that many companies will only take positive action when targets are set.” Monitoring and reporting on the ethnicity pay gap will firstly help inform business and government and secondly motivate businesses to address pay gaps where they are found to exist. The same report found that ending ethnic minority inequality at work in Britain would boost the economy by £24 billion a year.

Jo Swinson, as Business Minister and Minister for Women was successful in passing an amendment to the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill that stipulated that regulations requiring organisations with more than 250 employees to publish their gender pay gap must be made within 12 months of the bill reaching the statute book. Mandatory reporting of the gender pay gap entered into force in April 2017

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