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British PM launches charter to make workplaces fairer for ethnic minority staff
2018-10-17 

A series of new measures to tackle ethnic disparities in British workplaces was announced Thursday by Prime Minister Theresa May.

British Prime Minister Theresa May as she meets with business leaders in central London, Britain, October 11, 2018. [Photo: IC]

British Prime Minister Theresa May as she meets with business leaders in central London, Britain, October 11, 2018. [Photo: IC]

Developed jointly by May's government and Business in the Community (BITC), a new Race at Work Charter will commit businesses to a bold set of actions designed to drive forward a step-change in the recruitment and progression of ethnic minority employees.

Alongside the new charter May has also launched a consultation on the reporting of ethnicity pay levels in workplaces.

Downing Street said that measure was it a response to the Race Disparity Audit's Ethnicity Facts and Figures website data which has revealed significant disparities in the levels of salaries and career progression of ethnic minority employees.

The initiative comes exactly one year after the government published the findings of a world-first Race Disparity Audit on how people of different ethnic backgrounds are treated across society.

In what is the first consultation of its kind, the government is to invite employers to comment on a mandatory approach to ethnicity pay reporting. So far the number of organisations in Britain voluntarily publishing details on pay gaps for people from different ethnic backgrounds is low.

May said: "Every employee deserves the opportunity to progress and fulfil their potential in their chosen field, regardless of which background they are from, but too often ethnic minority employees feel they're hitting a brick wall when it comes to career progression.

"That's why I'm delighted to launch the Race at Work Charter, which gives businesses a clear set of actions to work towards in helping to create greater opportunities for ethnic minority employees at work."

May said the government's focus is on making sure organisations, boardrooms and senior management teams in Britain are truly reflective of the workplaces they manage.

"The measures we are taking today will help employers identify the actions needed to create a fairer and more diverse workforce," added May. 

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