Local Liberal Democrats say their national party’s proposal to require businesses to report their ethnicity pay gaps would be a great step forward for East London.
The Lib Dem policy would make it mandatory for organisations employing 250 people or more to provide information on how much staff from ethnic minorities earn relative to their non-minority counterparts.
National Lib Dem Leader, Tim Farron, commented, “it’s shocking that racial inequality still exists in 21st century Britain” and that being able to collect data on the ethnicity pay gap is an important first step.
“The country is failing to make the most of talent in the workplace. Information is powerful, and while organisations are allowed to get away with keeping patchy records, we'll never know the full extent of the gap,” said former Business Minister, Jo Swinson. “Transparent data on the Black and Minority Ethnic pay gap will help employers focus on what they need to do to ensure equal opportunities at work for people of all ethnic backgrounds.”
Swinson pointed to a report for the last Parliament showing that an end to ethnic minority inequality at work would boost the British economy by £24 billion a year.
“We would certainly feel those gains in Poplar & Limehouse,” said Lib Dem Poplar and Limehouse candidate, Elaine Bagshaw. “Two-thirds of people living in Tower Hamlets are non-white British.”
“Plenty of people in our communities here are making less than they should be, while the Hard Brexit our incumbent Labour MP voted for squeezes the value of the pound and makes living more expensive. We’ve got to address both wages and prices, and reporting on the ethnicity pay gap is an important part of addressing the first one.”