Will the gender pay gap ever close?

Equal Pay seems to been a hot topic for a very long time so you have to wonder why we just don’t seem to be able to get it sorted and move on. It has been revealed that by 2016, it could be mandatory for businesses with 250 or more employees to publish information on how much they pay their male and female employees.

It’s believed that such measures will help to tackle the gender pay gap. Though progress has undeniably been made in recent years to ensure that women are on an equal footing in the workplace, it’s clear that we’re still a long way from achieving true equality. In 2014, the overall gap stood at 19.1%, when looking at median gross hourly pay.

Shockingly, the UN claims that if progress continues at the current rate, it will be 70 years before men and women will be rewarded equally for carrying out the same work.

When you consider the fact that it may not even be in our lifetime when this milestone is reached, it’s clear that more needs to be done. Could mandatory gender pay reporting be part of the solution?

Ahead of the changes, it’s wise to get prepared. There are a few things that you should be aware of here. It hasn’t yet been decided what data businesses will be required to provide, and when. There’s speculation that it might be rolled out in a phased manner, with larger businesses being required to comply before smaller businesses. The consultation is also gathering views on whether employers should be permitted to provide a narrative alongside their figures, to put any issues into context.

Will companies with less than 250 employees be impacted? Though there’s no indication of this, it doesn’t mean that they’re completely exempt. Organisations of all sizes could face legal action if their reward structures are deemed to be discriminatory.

If you want to ensure that you’re compliant with the law, whether you have 2 employees or 2,000, you need to take any gender pay gaps very seriously. The best advice here is to pay the correct market rate salary for the position irrelevant of who performs the role. In the very simplest of terms, you need to ask yourself whether you are paying men and women differently for carrying out equal jobs, and then seek to solve the problem if you are.

Are you confused about your responsibilities, and what you need to do? Don’t bury your head in the sand any longer. Get in touch today to arrange a no-obligation consultation about how we can help.


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