NGO ShareAction and race equality think tank the Runnymede Trust have urged the UK government to introduce mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting for all companies with over 250 employees. The government committed to introduce mandatory reporting in 2018 following a consultation with business, but recently announced that they would prefer a voluntary code. The policy document released today cited research from Baroness McGregor-Smith which indicated that improved racial equality could boost the UK economy by £24 billion (US$29.9 billion), equivalent to 1.3% of GDP. Only 18 out of the FTSE 100 companies currently voluntarily report on their pay gap. Dr Shabna Begum, Interim Co-CEO of the Runnymede Trust, said: “Mandatory ethnicity pay reporting should no longer be an issue for debate. The government needs to catch-up with the shift in the business community, where the conversation is no longer about the merits of reporting, but instead revolves around to maximise the benefits of reporting to meet social justice obligations.” ShareAction and Runnymede also recommend that new legislation should require employers to publish an action plan to combat any disparities in pay and that that review should be conducted after two years to assess progress made by employers.