The gender pay gap is something that’s been a lot more prevalent in the news in recent months, because, for the first time, we now have access to information of the average pay of men and women who are employed within the same workplace. But what does it all mean? And how does it affect those involved?
Read Time: 3 minutes
What is on this page?
- The Pay Gap
- The Equality Act 2010
- Government’s Response
- Legality of the Pay Gap
- Concluding Remarks
The Pay Gap
‘Gender pay gap’ refers to the difference between the average hourly wage of female employees and male employees within a workplace. This is different from Unequal Pay, which is the difference between male and female pay when working in the same role, which is something that has been illegal since 1970 since the introduction of The Equal Pay Act.
The Equality Act 2010
With the introduction of The Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties and Public Authorities) Regulations 2017, most companies are obliged to report the statistics of their average pay for male and female employees, and the bonus pay amongst their male and female employees.
Data shows that a shocking 78% of companies pay male employees more, with the likes of Barclays Bank paying (on average) their female employees a mere 27 pence for every pound (on average) paid to a male employee.
A document has been released by gov.uk, in order to educate companies on ‘Actions to Close the Gender Pay Gap’. This document details ways to promote a less biased hiring and promotion process within the workforce, encouraging Human Resources within the said company to take more action in order to ensure women are receiving equal and fair chances. This would allow there to be an equal spread of male and female workers within every tier of a company.
Legality of the Pay Gap
Is having a gender pay gap illegal in the UK, you may ask? Currently, no. When it comes to a goal of equality, we’ve achieved many things, but we still have a long way to go. The act mentioned above was only introduced in 2017, with large firms reporting data of the gender pay gap as of April 2018. And, at most, companies may be penalised for failure to comply with the reporting of this information, but not for the information itself.
Concluding remarks by our Summar Khan (Author)
Where do we go from here? Maybe we could take notes from our Nordic neighbours in Iceland who, earlier this year, made it illegal for men to be paid more than women within their country, in accordance with their pledge to close the gender pay gap entirely by 2022. Portugal is trying to encourage this same law to be introduced across Europe. We have the information and the statistics and can see solutions in practice, so all that’s left to do now for the UK, is to follow suit.
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