World Economy

UK Firms Told to Abolish Gender Gap

UK Firms Told to Abolish Gender GapUK Firms Told to Abolish Gender Gap

UK companies will be legally required to publish how many male and female staff they have in each pay range as part of a drive to eliminate the gender gap.

Legislation forcing employers with more than 250 staff to publish the disparity in pay and bonuses for men and women was announced by Prime Minister David Cameron last year, and the new measure will highlight where action is needed,  Equalities Minister Nicky Morgan said on Friday. League tables will also show which sectors are performing best and worst, Bloomberg reported.

“I’m calling on women across Britain to use their position as employees and consumers to demand more from businesses, ensuring their talents are given the recognition and reward they deserve,” Morgan said in an e-mailed statement. “The job won’t be complete until we see the talents of women and men recognized equally and fairly in every workplace.”

The government will provide £500,000 ($722,000) to help companies adapt to the new regulations and will start publishing pay data and league tables in 2018. The Trades Union Congress called on the government to publish the figures sooner.

But shadow women’s minister Kate Green said: “2018 is far too long for women to wait when the UK gender pay gap remains well above the EU average.

“At this rate it will be another 47 years until the gap is closed, so we haven’t a moment to lose. The Tory government’s approach simply isn’t good enough for women.”

“Employers can’t be allowed to treat this as a tick-box exercise,” TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said in an e-mailed statement. “They must open their books and show what they are doing to address their pay gaps. Failure to comply must result in tough sanctions and fines.”