UK Companies Must Show Gender Pay Gap Under New Proposals

The government has unveiled plans which will see the creation of tables designed to show which companies are the worst for gender related pay equality.

Britain’s largest banks and conglomerations will now have to disclose any favouritism shown to male workers in financial terms in order for the government to attempt to address the issue of inequality in the workplace.

Companies exceeding 250 employees will be required to publish their pay gaps on their websites. About 8000 of the largest employers in the UK will be forced to publish the number of men and women within each pay bracket. The government has pre-emptively avoided any ‘back door’ discrimination by forcing bonuses to be disclosed.

There will also be a new drive to encourage females to study maths and sciences.  Only 24% of girls currently take these subjects at ‘A level’, compared to around 40% of boys. As a result, there are many more men within fields such as engineering, which is generally a well paid vocation and which also has one of the worst gender pay gaps.

Equalities groups were pleased by the latest initiative from the government to tackle gender inequality. The Fawcett Society, which campaigns for women’s rights, described the announcement as “the best opportunity in a generation to close the gender pay gap”. Nevertheless, it claimed that without stronger penalties, those employers who are “doing the right thing” risk being undercut by those who don’t. 

Francis O Grady, the TUC general secretary argued that it would not be enough to publish statistics without explaining them.  “If David Cameron is serious about ending the gender pay gap within a generation we need a much bolder approach from ministers.

 “It is a real shame that bosses won’t be made to explain why pay gaps exist in their workplaces and what action they will take to narrow them. Employers can’t be allowed to treat this as a tick-box exercise,” she said. 

The Women and Equalities Minister, Nicky Morgan, said the Government wanted to secure “real equality” for women. “In recent years we’ve seen the best employers make ground-breaking strides in tackling gender inequality.

“But the job won’t be complete until we see the talents of women and men recognised equally and fairly in every workplace. 

“That’s why I am announcing measures to support women in their careers from the classroom to the boardroom.”

"I'm calling on women across Britain to use their position as employees and consumers to demand more from businesses, ensuring their talents are given the recognition and reward they deserve," she said.

The first league table will be published in 2018.

Written By:

Daniel James


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