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July 14 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

UK government to force big firms to reveal gender pay gap

Big firms to reveal gender pay gap

The government are set to force firms with over 250 employees to release details of their gender pay gap.

Large companies will have to publish details on the gender pay gap within their workforce, David Cameron has promised.

The prime minister has pledged to "end the gender pay gap in a generation" by forcing firms to reveal how much they pay the men and women that they hire.

Although the gap between pay for women and men is closing, it still stands at 19.1 per cent, according to The Fawcett Society. This means, on average, women earn around 80p for every £1 earned by men.

 

Casting sunlight on discrepancies

David Cameron's move has been welcomed by the Labour Party, although it criticised the government for being too slow to take action on the issue. The plans will now go to a consultation, with the aim being to introduce them within the next year.

The proposal was originally laid out by the last government - with the Liberal Democrats pushing on the issue - and is not being cast aside by the Conservatives, despite their initial opposition to the plan.

In a statement, Mr Cameron said the move will "cast sunlight on the discrepancies and create the pressure we need for change, driving women's wages up."

 

Not all will welcome initiative

However, the announcement will not be universally welcomed, as Executive Director of External Affairs and Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce Dr Adam Marshall notes.

"Not all companies will cheer the introduction of compulsory gender pay gap reporting, because it takes a complex set of issues and reduces it to a few headline statistics," he remarked.

Dr Marshall explained there is a need to "start in the classroom" when it comes to breaking down the glass ceiling in business by ensuring young people know about all the career options available to them.

Claire Payne

Claire Payne is a journalism graduate and News Writer for LSBF. She writes about SMEs, education and careers, entrepreneurship, women in business, and sustainability.

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