What you can do to address and challenge the gender pay gap

This year, Equal Pay Day marked a gradual decrease in the gap in salaries between full-time employed men and women, 0.2% since last year. Instant Offices delves into what the legal implications and desired outcomes of addressing the gender pay gap are.

Consider this: if someone asked you to continue doing your job for free until the end of the year, would you say yes? In the UK, Equal Pay Day marks the point in the year when women effectively stop being paid, while men continue earning.

This year, 10 November marked the average 19.2% pay gap, highlighting how slowly the gap is being closed. Last year Equal Pay Day was on 9 November, signifying the glacial pace of difference from 19.3% in 2015 to 18.1% for all employees, and a drop from 9.6% to 9.4% for full-time employees, this year.

Gender Pay Gap Legislation

New gender pay gap reporting requirements, due to start in 2018, will require large employers to report on their gender pay gaps. For companies with over 250 staff members, the need to report their gender pay gap by April 2018 means that more than 8,000 businesses across the UK might currently be unprepared to meet their legal duties.

The Guardian reports, “Birmingham council alone faces total costs of £1.2bn to settle its case with female staff. Reading has now won the dubious title of the last local authority in England and Wales to settle an equal pay claim, keeping women waiting for seven years. This is not only a public sector issue. The £100m legal battle between supermarket chain Asda and its shop floor staff shows that the private sector also faces equal value claims.”

Aside from the much-needed transparency, the new legislation will encourage businesses to discuss their approach to pay with conviction – which could help change perceptions in traditionally male-orientated industries (such as engineering, finance, and politics) and top positions. This will encourage new talent to join your business, a win for gender equality and business growth.

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Image credit: Instant Offices

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