The figure is based on calculations by Conservative peer Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith, who’s 2017 report into racism at work found that the UK was losing the equivalent of 1.3% of GDP every year due to not getting the “full potential” of black and Asian workers who are held back.

The government has been accused of sitting on the results of a consultation into ethnicity pay monitoring for the past five years. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy carried out the review in 2018, but last month DBEIS minister Paul Scully said that the government was still assessing next steps.

Earlier this week, the Women and Equalities select committee, headed by Tory Caroline Noakes, published a report that concluded there was “no excuse” not to bring in the measure, following the introduction of gender pay monitoring in 2017.

Former prime minister Theresa May, and the conservative-minded Confederation of British Industry (CBI) have also called for the government to bring in ethnicity pay monitoring.

But Boris Johnson and the equalities ministers Liz Truss and Kemi Badenoch have all attempted to kick the issue into the long grass by insisting they are still looking into it.

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