What’s the latest in the Gender Pay Gap?

UK companies with 250 or more employees will have to publish their gender pay gaps within the next year under a new legal requirement. About half of the UK workforce will be affected by the new reporting rules, which encompass 9,000 employers and more than 15 million employees.

Firms must publish a snapshot of their employee pay as at 5 April 2017 if they are a private business or charity, or 31 March 2017 for those in the public sector.

All the data will eventually be available on a government database, and the early results are starting to filter through. According to a recent report in the Independent,  asset manager Schroders reported a pay gap of  31 %, while at utility firm SSE the pay gap is 23.4 %. PwC reported a 15% difference in pay and Virgin Money 36 %.

As with everything, it’s all very well having the statistics, but what’s really important is what happens with it…otherwise all we have is yet another government database groaning with a weight of information and data.

An interesting viewpoint from  Sam Bowman from the Adam Smith Institute, described the new reporting measure as “counterproductive”.

“It reinforces the idea that the gender wage gap is caused by discrimination by firms against women,” he said.”In fact, it’s more to do with the fact that women are expected to take quite a lot of time out of their jobs after they have children, which interrupts their career progression, and many switch to part-time work when they do return to work.We have more of a motherhood pay gap than a gender pay gap. That gap can be closed by encouraging men to handle a more equal share of child-rearing time and by consumers preferring firms that take the lead in giving flexibility to working mothers.

Perhaps it’s no coincidence then that the UK is in 20th place, according to the World Economic Forum’s Gender Pay Gap Index…..while the country with the smallest gap is ……….Iceland !

 

Gender Pay Gap



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