From 2016 private and voluntary sector employers who employ over 250 people will be required to make public statistics about the gender pay gap in their workplace based on the average wages of men and women within a workplace.
The Sex Discrimination Act, 1975 purported to eradicate pay inequality based on gender. However, even in 2016 there is evidence that women, in particular, may receive a lower rate of pay based on their gender.
High profile equal pay claims in the NHS and the public sector highlighted that this was the case, and a commitment was made to remove any inequality through single status and pay reviews.
This has now been taken a step further and extended to the private and voluntary sector. Gender pay gap reporting will look not just at whether people receive the same pay for the same job, but whether gender is a factor affecting whether people can reach more senior and high paid roles, and the retention of employees. This is important because an organisation could, for example, employ more women than men, but if they are all employed in junior roles and are not able to progress to the more senior roles then this creates a pay gap in the level of earnings that can be attained.
It is hoped that by making this information publicly available, that employers will be pressured to tackle the problem of gender pay inequality. However, at present there are no penalties for the failure to provide the information, nor does it extend to those employing under 250 employees, and so the effects remain to be seen.
If you believe you have been discriminated against because of your gender or for any other reason, or if you have any questions about your employment rights, then we can help. Here at Beecham Peacock we have a trusted relationship with some of the largest trade unions in the country to protect your working rights. For further information call us on 0191 232 3048 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.