The UK Government’s proposals for gender pay gap reporting have been criticised for not going far enough.
Official statistics show that, on average, women earn 19 per cent less than men. The pay gap exists because some employers still discriminate against women by paying them less for doing the same (or very similar) work to their male colleagues as well as for work which is different but equally demanding and of equal value to the business.
Despite the Equal Pay Act 1970 making it illegal for employers to discriminate in how they pay their employees so long ago we still get equal pay disputes today. This is why the UK needs gender pay gap reporting.
What are the UK Governments gender pay gap reporting proposals?
Under the proposals, large British companies must publish certain data by 30 April 2017 on their website, or a “searchable UK website that is accessible to employees and the public”, and then publish data by the end of April each year.
The data big companies must collect includes the number of men and women working in each of their four salary quartiles, the ‘mean gender pay gap’, the ‘median gender pay gap’ and the ‘gender bonus gap’ all the way across their organisation.
However, some have criticised the proposals for not going far enough as they do not include any penalties for businesses that fail to report or mis-report on their gender pay gap besides the risk of being named by the Government and possibly receiving bad publicity in the press. Businesses are also not required to provide any explanation of pay disparity or take steps to improve it.
The proposals set out by the Government Equalities Office also only apply to companies with 250+ employees. This accounts for less than one per cent of the UK’s employers. For more details, see: “Box Ticking” Gender Pay Gap Reporting Regulations Do Not Go Far Enough.
So if you discover you are paid less than your male counterparts the best thing you can do is find representation from an employment solicitor with experience in equal pay disputes. They can assist you in negotiating solutions to gender discrimination in your pay and in bringing a case against your employer where necessary.
For a no-obligation consultation, call the employment solicitors at Slater and Gordon Lawyers on freephone 0800 916 9060 or contact us online and we’ll be happy to help.