Over 50 years since the UK first legislated equal pay for equal work, women, racial minorities, and people with disabilities continue to be paid less for the same work. Not enough is being done by governments or employers to change this.

The Equal Pay Alliance is a group of charities, trade unions, campaign groups, academics and more demanding action to close these pay gaps.

You can join this call – sign our petition now to demand action on pay gaps!


Equal Pay Alliance Pay Gaps Manifesto 

The Equal Pay Alliance is calling on all political parties to commit to action to redress pay gaps.

Pay gaps are persistent across gender, race and disability; they are seen in average hourly earnings, salary, bonuses and pensions. Pay gaps have wide-ranging negative implications for individuals, groups, organisations, and society as a whole – affecting economic stability.

According to data from ONS, the median gender pay gap for all employees in the UK currently stands at 14.9 percent. The most recent data shows a 23.8 percent ethnicity pay gap in London. The aggregated disability pay gap was 13.8 percent in 2021. Aggregation hides a wide range of inequitable experiences for minoritised ethnic groups and disabled people. Inequities are compounded but seldom calculated through intersectional pay gaps in the UK.  

A 2020 report estimated that at the current rate of progress “it will take almost 200 years before the gender pay gap is eliminated.” Lack of data means it is not possible to estimate how long ethnicity and disability pay gaps will take to close. One report indicates that it will be over 50 years before employers even know their ethnicity pay gap. The disability pay gap has grown since 2014. It is safe to say that there is no indication these pay gaps will close without action. 

Addressing this issue is crucial for promoting equality, rebalancing the economy and improving the lives of everyone in society – men, women and children – as part of a wider need to promote fairer pay. 

The Equal Pay Alliance is asking all political parties to commit to reducing income inequality by closing existing pay gaps, as follows:

Strengthen and extend gender, ethnicity and disability pay gap reporting in the UK through:

  • Introducing mandatory ethnicity and disability pay gap reporting, as a matter of urgency.
  • Requiring mandatory action plans setting out time-limited and measurable targets.
  • Reducing the threshold to include employers with 50+ employees and/or workers.
  • Ensuring sufficient funding for the EHRC to monitor compliance with reporting requirements.
  • Requiring improved data collection to enable robust and reliable disaggregation and intersectional analysis of pay and bonus gaps.

Increase employee and worker rights around pay transparency through:

  • Giving employees and workers the ‘right to know’ the salaries of colleagues.
  • Banning requests for salary history in job interviews. 
  • Ensuring salary, bonus and fee ranges are included on job advertisements.
  • Communicating workers’ rights on, and entry to, collective bargaining on pay – e.g. through membership of a trade union.
  • Informing workers about their rights to talk about pay.

Rhetoric is not enough. We believe these would be popular and effective actions towards fairer pay, closing pay gaps and forging a stronger economy.


  • Priya Sahni-Nicholas and Jo Wittams, Co-Executive Directors, The Equality Trust
  • Dianne Greyson, Founder, #EthnicityPayGap Campaign
  • Claire Reindorp, CEO, Young Women’s Trust
  • Dr Mary-Ann Stephenson, Director, Women’s Budget Group 
  • Joeli Brearly, Founder & Director, Pregnant Then Screwed 
  • Megan Fisher-King, Women’s Campaign Unit, GMB Union
  • Jemima Olchawski, CEO, Fawcett Society
  • Kudsia Batool, Head of Equality, International and Governance, TUC
  • Professor Rosie Campbell, Director of The Global Institute for Women’s Leadership, King’s College London
  • Dr Ian Manborde, Equalities and Education Officer, Equity
  • Josie Irwin, Head of Equality Unit, UNISON 
  • Sarah Woolley, General Secretary, BFAWU
  • Geraldine Healy, Emeritus Professor of Employment Relations, Queen Mary University of London
  • Kamran Malik, CEO, Disability Rights UK
  • Kim Jamson, Principal Official (Equality & Training), NASUWT