Employment lawyer explains meaning of Equal Pay Day 2016 giving a definition of the gender pay gap, highlighting gender and maternity discrimination at work.
Equal Pay Day falls on 10 November 2016 because from this day on to the end of the year women are effectively working for free as a result of earning less on average than men.
What is The Gender Pay Gap?
In the UK women currently earn on average 13.9% less than men in full time work.
From 30 April 2017, gender pay gap reporting will become compulsory for large companies. Businesses with over 250 employees will have to publish data on their website (or an alternative searchable, accessible website available to employees and the general public) detailing the ‘mean gender pay gap’, the ‘median gender pay gap’ and the ‘gender bonus gap’ all the way across their organisation.
The introduction of compulsory gender pay gap reporting has been criticised for not going far enough. There is no requirement for businesses to show how they are approaching their mean and median calculations or to take steps to improve their gender pay gap. If things continue to progress at their current pace then it will take more than 60 years to eliminate the gender pay gap. Plus, there is no monetary punishment for companies if they mis-report, or fail to report, on their gender pay gap.
Causes of The Gender Pay Gap
- Division of Labour – The type of work women do, tends to be in low skilled, lower paid jobs.
Four out of five workers in the care sector and leisure industry are female, meanwhile, only one in 10 better paid skilled trades jobs are taken up by women.
- Childcare – Women are more likely to take responsibility for childcare and put their career on hold to look after dependants or require part-time work arrangements.
There has been a disappointing take up of Shared Parental Leave, which allows parents the option of sharing almost a year of leave from work.
- Top Jobs – The women in the highest paid and most senior roles are in the minority. This means brings the average pay of men in full time work up with more men working in the ‘top jobs’ in the UK than women.
- Discrimination – Women returning to work after giving birth are often pushed out of their jobs or held back from promotion opportunities because they have been away from the business during maternity leave or because they may require flexible or part time work arrangements. Plus, despite it being illegal, there are still cases where women are paid less than their male counterparts for doing the same work or work of equal business value.
If you experience pay discrimination as an employee doing work that is the same as or similar to a colleague of yours, you can claim compensation - whether it is a difference in salary, bonus payments or your benefits.
For expert legal advice or representation in an equal pay dispute call our employment law solicitors on freephone 0800 916 9060 or contact us online and we will call you.