Large UK businesses will be required to publicise their gender pay gaps
17 March 2015
UK businesses with more than 250 employees will be required to publish the difference between the average pay of their male and female employees within the next 12 months.
Out-Law.com reports that the Liberal Democrats have secured the backing of the government for its plans, which were to be introduced to the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill during a recent debate in the House of Lords. The nature of the proposed amendment means that ministers on the government payroll will vote in favour of it.
Jo Swinson, the government's minister for employment relations and equalities, said that the new requirement would "force companies to ask themselves difficult questions about how they are valuing the contribution of women in their workforce and act to address problems".
However, employment law expert Linda Jones of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, said,
"This change in the law has been agreed by government after it was revealed that only five large employers are reporting on equal pay on a voluntary basis, under the government's 'Think Act Report' scheme. This is hardly surprising, as equal pay reporting can be very time-consuming and also employers are worried that they may be opening a can of worms following all of the publicity about the local government equal pay cases. What is more surprising is that this measure, which will potentially have a significant impact on employers, appears to have been brought in under the radar with very little debate or consultation."