Prime Minister Theresa May has announced a new drive to end the gender pay gap.
May is calling on more companies to take steps to improve workplace equality and to report their gender pay gap while taking action to close it.
Figures published this week show that the UK’s overall gender pay has risen marginally to 18.4 per cent, but the gap for full-time workers falling to a record low – from 9.4 per cent in 2016 to 9.1 per cent in 2017.
To close the gender pay gap further, the Prime Minister is calling for companies to improve the pipeline to ensure progress on female representation at senior levels; publish their gender pay gap data, including companies with fewer that 250 employees; and to make flexible working a reality for all employees by advertising all jobs as flexible from day one, unless there are solid business reasons not to.
As part of the commitment to drive forward workplace equality, the Women’s Business Council, which May established as Home Secretary in 2012, will be advising her on the progress and good practice in business.
The council will also be providing recommendations in key areas including middle management, flexible working, working parents and return-to-work schemes.
Speaking about the new drive, May said, “Tackling injustices like the gender pay gap is part of building a country that works for everyone.”
“Already many of the UKs 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 step-change 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.”
Justine Greening, Minister for Women and Equalities said, “It is simply good business sense to recognise the enormous potential of women and to take action to nurture and progress female talent.”
“That is why we have introduced a legal requirement for al large employers to publish their gender pay and bonus data by April 2018.”
“Employers now need to get on with publishing their pay gap.”
“By shining a light on where there are gaps, they can take action and make sure that we are harnessing the talents and skills of men and women.”