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Theatre employers could be forced to reveal ethnicity pay gap

Theresa May. Photo: Wikimedia Commons Theresa May
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Theatres may be obliged to disclose the pay gap between employees of different ethnicities, under new plans announced by Theresa May.

The move would follow existing gender pay gap requirements, which were introduced last year to help eradicate the pay gap between men and women in UK companies.

Now, the prime minister has launched a consultation on introducing mandatory pay gap reporting for people of different races, claiming “ethnic minority employees feel like they’re hitting a brick wall when it comes to career progression”.

The scope of reporting is not yet known, but gender pay gap rules apply to all public and private companies with more than 250 staff. If the ethnicity pay gap regulations cover the same organisations, theatre organisations that will be subject to reporting include the National Theatre, the Royal Opera House, the Royal Shakespeare Company, Ambassador Theatre Group and Delfont Mackintosh Theatres.

Biggest theatre companies forced to disclose gender pay gap

The new reporting rules follow a government audit which exposed “significant disparities in the pay and progression” for the 13% of the population who are from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds.

May said: “Our focus is now on making sure the UK’s organisations, boardrooms and senior management teams are truly reflective of the workplaces they manage, and the measures we are taking today will help employers identify the actions needed to create a fairer and more diverse workforce.”

The consultation will be open until January.

The gender pay gap figures, announced in April, found performing arts companies to have a median hourly pay gap of 7% in favour of male employees.

This was less than the national median of 18.4% but prompted commitments from across the industry to increase the number of women, especially in traditionally male areas such as technical roles.