PM May calls for gen­der pay gap de­tails

Wales On Sunday - - NEWS -

THERESA MAY is call­ing on more com­pa­nies to pub­lish de­tails of their gen­der pay gap in a re­newed drive to im­prove equal­ity in the work­place.

The Prime Min­is­ter said it re­quired “sus­tained ac­tion” from em­ploy­ers if the dif­fer­en­tial be­tween the pay of men and women was to be elim­i­nated “once and for all”.

The Gov­ern­ment has al­ready in­tro­duced a le­gal re­quire­ment for all em­ploy­ers with more than 250 em­ploy­ees to pub­lish their gen­der pay and bonus data by April 2018.

How­ever, Mrs May is now ap­peal­ing to smaller firms to dis­close their de­tails as well.

The Prime Min­is­ter is also urg­ing com­pa­nies to take steps to help women progress through the ranks of man­age­ment, en­sur­ing bet­ter fe­male rep­re­sen­ta­tion at se­nior lev­els.

She said firms should strive to make flex­i­ble work­ing a re­al­ity for all staff by ad­ver­tis­ing all jobs as flex­i­ble “from day one” un­less there were “solid business rea­sons” not to.

Her in­ter­ven­tion comes after new fig­ures from the Of­fice of Na­tional Sta­tis­tics showed the over­all gen­der pay gap rose marginally from 18.2% in 2016 to 18.4% in 2017.

The gap for full-time work­ers, how­ever, fell to a record low of 9.1% – down from 9.4% the pre­vi­ous year.

Mrs May said: “Al­ready many of the UK’s top com­pa­nies are lead­ing the way in mak­ing sure ev­ery­one’s con­tri­bu­tions to the work­place are val­ued equally and it is en­cour­ag­ing news that the gap has fallen this year for full-time work­ers. But the gen­der pay gap isn’t go­ing to close on its own – we all need to be tak­ing sus­tained ac­tion to make sure we ad­dress this.

“We need to see a real stepchange in the num­ber of com­pa­nies pub­lish­ing their gen­der pay data and of­fer­ing pro­gres­sion and flex­i­bil­ity for all em­ploy­ees. That’s why to­day I am call­ing on more busi­nesses, both small and large, to take ac­tion to make sure the gen­der pay gap is elim­i­nated once and for all.”

But TUC gen­eral sec­re­tary Frances O’Grady said: “The gen­der pay gap will con­tinue clos­ing at a snail’s pace un­less the Gov­ern­ment comes down much harder on em­ploy­ers.

“Com­pa­nies should be forced to pub­lish their pay gaps – not merely en­cour­aged. Real ac­tion would be fin­ing busi­nesses who do not share in­for­ma­tion on what men and women are paid.”

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