THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT announced today that companies with more than 250 employees will have to reveal the differences between the average salaries of their male and female workers.
“In recent years we’ve seen the best employers make ground-breaking strides in tackling gender inequality,” said women and equalities minister Nicky Morgan.
But the job won’t be complete until we see the talents of women and men recognised equally and fairly in every workplace.
Around 8,000 employers will have to publish their average pay and bonus gap between genders, the results of which will be posted in a league table to be first published in 2018.
Trade Union Congress (TUC) leader Frances O’Grady said a “much bolder approach” was needed.
“While today’s announcement is a step in the right direction, we’re disappointed that firms won’t have to publish their gender pay gap figures until 2018,” said the TUC general secretary.
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.
The TUC claims that the average pay for men is 19% higher for men across all workers and 9.4% for full-time employees.
Carolyn Fairbairn, director general of business lobby group CBI, warned that the tables “should not be used to name and shame”.
“Data will only be able to present a partial picture, particularly given factors such as the mix of part-time and full working and sectoral differences,” she said.
Critics argue that using average pay and bonuses does not take into account differences in occupations, positions, education, career breaks to have children, job tenure or hours worked per week.
According to recent official figures, British women between the ages of 22 and 29 earn on average £1,111 (€1,430) per year more than their male counterparts, but begin earning less once they hit their 30s.