David Cameron has announced plans to force companies to publish the difference in earnings between male and female staff in a bid to ensure equal pay. It is thought that on average women are paid roughly 20% less than men in Britain.
Yesterday, David Cameron stated “we will make every single company with 250 employees or more publish the gap between average female earnings and average male earnings. That will cast sunlight on the discrepancies and create the pressure we need for change, driving women’s wages up”.
David Cameron also stated that women should be encouraged to enter careers where women are under-represented, company boards should include more women and access to affordable childcare should be increased.
John Allan, national chairman for the Federation of Small Businesses, welcomes David Cameron’s approach. He said “to help support this trend we need to keep up the momentum and break down the remaining barriers that prevent women progressing in the workplace and the boardroom, and so we welcome, and look forward to taking part in, the government’s gender pay gap consultation”.
However, not everybody shares John Allan’s view. Others have been critical, saying the plan would be costly for businesses and would not help reduce the pay gap.
If David Cameron’s gender pay gap proposals get passed then companies with 250 employees or more will be forced to publish the gap between average female earnings and average male earnings. It is pleasing that addressing inequality between men and women in the workplace is high up on the political agenda as there is still much left to be done. Employment Tribunal statistics show that the number of claims to the Employment Tribunal in relation to sex discrimination and equal pay still far outweigh the number of other claims such a race, age and disability discrimination.
Equal pay and sex discrimination are areas that our Employment department advise on regularly. If you would like to discuss equal pay or discrimination and how it may affect your company or you, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Employment department.
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