Why it is so dangerous to quote a 2.3% Ethnicity Pay Gap when the data just not exist to back this up — our research indicates 14%

David whitfield
1 min readApr 1, 2021


Like many of you I have been reading through The report of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities.

Race report: ‘UK not deliberately rigged against ethnic minorities’ — BBC News

I was shocked to see that they are reporting a little to no pay gap whilst also admitting that that their data source is not credible:

“…the primary source of data for earnings analysis in the UK is the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE)”

ASHE represents just 1% of the population and can only report on ethnicity if this has been disclosed to the employer.

“Labour Force Survey (LFS) is still heavily used as a source of data — earnings questions on the LFS are known to have poor response rates.”

Just 9,000 respondents for LFS with the earnings sample much low.

This is so dangerous as it sends the wrong message to companies, colleagues and society in general — that there is no problem so why put any energy into fixing it.

We reviewed the self-disclosed reports of 82 companies — real data which indicated a pay gap of 14%.

This is line with the discussions we have had with hundreds of the largest UK companies over the past year.

Leave a message or email me david@hrdatahub.com to get your copy of our report.