The spotlight on gender equality in the workplace has never shined brighter in the wake of the Weinstein sexual harassment claims and the subsequent trending of #Metoo on social media.
There is no sign of this abating in 2018 following the activism demonstrated by high profile Hollywood stars and most notably ‘president in waiting’ Oprah Winfrey’s ‘Time’s Up’ acceptance speech at the Golden Globes early this year.
It was within this climate that BBC China editor, Carrie Gracie, resigned when it was revealed that she was being paid significantly less than two male counterparts.
Carrie Gracie’s resignation coincides with the publishing of figures by more than 500 firms seeking to comply early with the new gender pay reporting requirements introduced by the Government.
How is the Law Changing?
Under new equal pay legislation, employers with 250 or more employees will be required to publish mean and median pay information relating to the gender pay gap in their organisation. The first reports are to be published by 4th April 2018 for private sector and 30th March 2018 for public sector however many organisations have done so already.
The full pay report information must be published on the employer's website every year and left there for at least three years, and must also be uploaded to the Government reporting website.
Why is it Changing?
In 2016, the UK gender pay gap was 9.4% for full-time workers, or 18.1% for all staff. This year the BBC has revealed women's mean hourly rate of pay was 10.7% lower than men’s. Women's fashion chain Phase Eight has published a 64.8% lower mean hourly rate for female staff.
It is the Government’s hope that publishing this information will encourage businesses to analyse the causes of any gender-based pay and bonus gaps along with factors influencing the salary progression of women.
Howell’s Partner and Head of Employment, David Lewis, commented:
“Huge strides towards gender equality have been taken during recent decades however there is clearly still some way to go before the salary gap is closed permanently. Forcing companies to publish this data brings the issue into the open and keeps it in public view. This will hopefully speed up the reactions of companies who know that they have to address the imbalance.”
Exercise Your Rights to Equal Pay
Equal pay legislation is complicated, if you believe you may have an equal pay claim and wish to find out if you could make a claim for compensation or alternatively are a business seeking advice on how to comply with Equal Pay Legislation obligations, then please call us on 02920 437484.