In a bid to improve equal pay, David Cameron has announced plans to force large companies to publish the differences in pay between men and women.
On Tuesday (July 14th) a consultation on the gender pay gap regulation is set to begin, with Cameron hoping that the measure will lead to increased pay for women. The consultation will tackle details of how the regulation will work, clarifying things such as when, what, where and how information is published.
Writing in The Times, the prime minister stated “Today I’m announcing a really big move: we will make every single company with 250 employees or more publish the gap between average female earnings and average male earnings”
“That will cast sunlight on the discrepancies and create the pressure we need for change, driving women’s wages up.”
Further support of the action comes from the chairman for the Federation of small businesses John Allan “To help support this trend we need to keep up the momentum and break down the remaining barriers that prevent women progressing in the workplace and the boardroom, and so we welcome, and look forward to taking part in, the government’s gender pay gap consultation,”
Labour also supports the move, but argue that it has taken the government far too long to act on transparency of pay.
Not everyone is so keen on the move though, with James Quinn (group business editor of the Telegraph Media Group) arguing “Quotas, rules and placing extra costs on business are not the way to ensure diversity in the workplace.”
Quinn further explains how he feels the move is misplaced and won’t necessarily result in pay rises for women “His intention is that it will drive women’s wages up. In reality, it is just as likely, over time, to drive wages down or cause other unintended consequences, which will be bad for the economy”.
In the Times the prime minister also wrote of how he hoped the national living wage would play a huge role “This will primarily help women, who tend to be in lower paid jobs… It will help close the gender pay gap… but we need to go further, and that’s why introducing gender pay audits is so important.”
Becky A @Bex18W