Firms employing more than 250 people will be required to reveal the pay gap between male and female employees under a change to the law due in the next 12 months. By introducing this compulsory requirement, the Government hopes to continue targeting gender inequality by closing the gap on male and female remuneration, even though this is at its lowest figure ever of 9.4%.
The Equalities Minister Jo Swinson said: “The move will force companies to ask themselves difficult questions about how they are valuing the contribution of women in their workforce and act to address problems".
Previously only five firms have revealed their gender pay figure under the voluntary approach. This begs the question: how long until it is compulsory for small and medium firms to reveal these figures too? Clearly, the voluntary approach has not been particularly successful and, despite the Government highlighting the narrowing pay gap, you cannot help but feel that increased transparency for all firms, irrespective of size, would further promote this. Any legislation passed with the intention of narrowing the pay gap can only be a good thing, although there will always be the few who argue that simple statistics do not paint a true remuneration picture.