Bridging The Pay Gap – Are You Doing Your Part?
One of the business areas that’s had a lot of focus over the past few years is the gender pay gap. The idea (and reality) that in many businesses’ men are paid more than women for doing the same (or comparable) jobs. The government has tried to close up this gap, but today we wanted to ask – are they doing enough? And as a business, are you guilty of expanding the pay gap?
The Pay Gap In The UK
The gender pay gap is defined as the difference between average hourly earnings (excluding overtime) of men and women as a proportion of average hourly earnings (excluding overtime) of men’s earnings. The gender pay gap in our country is around 8.6% for full-time workers, and a staggering 17.9% for part-time workers. Last year the government put systems in place to combat this, including mandatory reporting and public display of comparison pay data for businesses above a certain size. But according to reports in April this year, fewer than half of UK firms have actually succeeded in narrowing the pay gap. In fact, 78% of companies have a pay gap in favour of men, while 14% favoured women and the rest reported no difference at all. This is roughly the same as last year, showing little to no improvement at all.
What Iceland Has Got Right
So what can we do? In our opinion, we could take a leaf from Iceland’s book. At the beginning of this year, Iceland made history by making it illegal to pay women less than men. In the landmark decision, firms with 25 employees or more will face fines if they don’t have a government certificate stating they demonstrate equal pay – which can only be acquired by going through rigorous auditing and evaluation by government officials. The law was bought in because despite having legislation saying women should be paid the same as men, the country still had a pay gap. Now that this has been made into law, the country is already seeing marked improvements. So we ask you – could this be a solution for the UK too?
Stay On The Right Side!
Of course, it’s one thing to have a policy in place, and quite another to understand what it means and how to follow it properly.. If your business has a pay gap problem, it can’t hurt to get a little help and advice from the employment law experts. At Herefords, we offer hands-on, practical advice and guidance around all elements of employment law. Our service is all about guiding you through the minefield, helping you to understand the law and how it applies to your business, including any new changes that come in. And thanks to our new Employment Law Retainer, you can be confident that your key HR decisions and advice are compliant and appropriate. You can find out more about our employment law retainer by clicking here.
Or for more information on handling issues in the workplace, you can get in touch with us and book your free consultation.
0203 669 2216