Thousands of UK companies to report gender pay gap under new law

Jon Howard
April 7, 2017

According to figures compiled by the Department for Education, the gender pay gap in the construction sector stands at 23.3 per cent, compared with 18.1 per cent in the United Kingdom as a whole.

The country has the smallest gap, according to the World Economic Forum's Gender Pay Gap Index, while the United Kingdom is in 20th place.

Any companies who do have a gender pay gap will have to publish an action plan alongside the figures to resolve the issue.

However, research conducted by Total Jobs found that 32 per cent of businesses are failing to review salaries across genders to safeguard against pay discrimination.

"The gender pay gap has always been an issue for government and business", she added.

"For the first time people will be able to see the gender pay gap of large employers at one fixed point in time, with this gap measured and reported in a consistent way", she told the BBC.

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About half of the United Kingdom workforce will be affected by the new reporting rules, which encompass 9,000 employers and more than 15 million employees. But despite the narrower wage gap, the problem still exists, with Iceland's own national statistics from 2015 putting the unadjusted gender pay gap at 17 percent.

"Helping women to reach their full potential isn't only the right thing to do, it makes good economic sense and is good for British business", the minister for women and equalities, Justine Greening, said in an emailed statement.

The DfE has stated that eliminating the pay gap across all industries could add up to £150bn to annual GDP by 2025. "I am proud that the United Kingdom is championing gender equality and now those employers that are leading the way will clearly stand out with these requirements". That is an opportunity that neither Government nor businesses can afford to ignore.

She added: "However, we need to be careful that we are interpreting the data correctly, and it is used to illustrate instances of clearly unfair practice, rather than "naming and shaming" companies who are more progressive in terms of gender pay. but given their industries, and the fairly broad brush metrics being collated, their raw data might give a less favourable impression".

The British government has introduced new rules aimed at eliminating a gender pay gap that sees men earn nearly a fifth more than women. More than half (58 percent) of people said they think the Government should force employers to reveal employee salaries, in order to combat unequal pay.

"Gender imbalance has a direct impact on average male and female salaries".

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