From today, gender pay gaps must be declared by UK companies

From today, gender pay gaps must be declared by UK companies

In a move to fight discrimination in the workplace, UK companies with more than 250 employees will now have to publish their gender pay gaps. 

Compared to the rest of the world, UK is in 20th place for pay equity – with an 18.1 percent gap for all workers, and 9.4 percent for full-time employees, according to the World Economic Forum’s Gender Pay Gap Index. 

From today, April 6, all public, private and voluntary sector firms must disclose average pay for men and women, including any bonuses, as well as publish their mean gender pay gap and proportion of men and women in each quarter of the pay structure.

These new rules will affect 9,000 employers and more than 15 million employees. If employers fail to disclose the information by April 2018, the Equalities and Human Rights Commission will be involved.

Employers who find that they do have a gender pay gap will be asked to create an action plan detailing precautions taken to address the problem. A few companies have already published their findings, including Virgin Money and Deloitte. All the data will eventually be available on a central government database.

The government has also launched a new campaign page where employers can access resources, case studies and even video explainers regarding gender pay gaps.

The new law is part of a wider government move to support UK’s working women, including £5 million to increase ‘returnships’, 30 hours of free childcare, and shared parental leave and new rights to request flexible hours. 

Justine Greening, the Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities, said that although the government is moving to help women in more progressive ways, eliminating gender pay gaps entirely is the ultimate goal.

“Helping women to reach their full potential isn’t only the right thing to do, it makes good economic sense and is good for British business,” she said in a release. “I am proud that the UK is championing gender equality and now those employers that are leading the way will clearly stand out with these requirements.”

Greening tweeted that the new rule is a big step toward closing the gender pay gap.

Partner at PwC annual reports, Tracey Groves, tweeted that this move will help create more transparency and trust in business. 

Others tweeted in support, saying that this step is one in the right direction. The hashtag #GenderPayGap was trending on Twitter yesterday, showing thousands of people supporting (and, in some cases, negating) the law.

Original Source – Samantha J. Gross, Evening Standard – http://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/london-life/from-today-gender-pay-gaps-must-be-declared-by-uk-companies-a3508706.html

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