18 Apr 2019

Recruitment X Gender Equality

Gavin Beale

Back in 2016, several new employment law reforms were introduced by the Government. These reforms changed things for both employers and employees.

The gender pay gap is an issue that has been reported on and argued over for years, but it seems that the UK Government is now stepping in to try and narrow the gap. The 2016 reform stated that organisations with more than 250 employees are required to publish information on the differences in their male and female staff’s salaries. This league table consists of around 8,000 organisations and aims to highlight the worst offenders of the gender pay gap. This gap currently stands at women earning approximately 19.2% less than a man, around 80p for every 1 pound a man earns, despite it being illegal to pay different salaries for the same job under the Equal Pay Act.

This reform was an attempt to increase transparency on the gender pay issue, however the Government came under criticism for setting April 2018 as the date for the reports to be written, giving organisations 2 years to tackle the problem before their employees are aware of just how bad it was. Peter Mooney, of ELAS Business Support states that “the introduction of mandatory gender pay reporting is well overdue, as it is clear that without some compulsion, the gender pay gap will never be narrowed voluntarily”. While it is a shame that compulsory reporting is required to narrow the deficit, despite the Equal Pay Act, at least something is being done to address the problem.

Ann Francke, Chief Executive of the CMI believes this compulsory reporting will help achieve equal gender pay rates, as “shining a light on what men and women are paid at every level, as well as monitoring the percentage of women at every level, is proven to speed up progress”. Because not only is there the pay issue, but also the “glass pyramid”. Francke states that “women make up 60% of junior managers, 40% of middle managers and 20% of senior managers” and the new pay transparency should help demolish this pyramid which “stifles potential” in business.

These reforms are certainly a step in the right direction for fair and equal pay of employees. If you ever require advice or information on paying your staff or on the salary you receive from your employer, a consultant at the TwentyFour group will be happy to help. When placing candidates in temporary or permanent positions, we always ensure that they are paid in accordance to any laws and regulations and make certain that wages are fair for your age group and not based on your gender.