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It has been illegal for over 45 years now to pay men a larger salary, than women in the United Kingdom. Despite businesses quoting the same initial pay-check for both men and women, men have been more likely to later be offered larger salaries and bigger bonuses. Following the failure of the four-and-a-half-decades-old law, the government has another plan; force businesses to publicly display their pay discrepancies for everyone to see.
The new governmental scheme will force businesses with over 250 employees to publish their gender pay gap data. The data demanded would include things such as initial salary differences, bonuses and raises between male and female employees on the same job.
The data collected would then be publicly displayed on a government-sponsored website, which would then rank the businesses depending on their gender-based pay gap. The new system will easily idolize any business which have a large pay rift between the two genders – hopefully convincing companies to adjust their employee’s payments in order to stay off the top of the list.
The minister for Women and Equalities, Nicky Morgan announced that “in recent years we’ve seen the best employers make ground-breaking strides in tackling gender inequality,” she said. “But the job won’t be complete until we see the talents of women and men recognized equally and fairly in every workplace.” She added that such measures would leave “nowhere for gender inequality to hide.”
According to the Office for National Statistics, men earn around 20 percent more income than woman in the U.K., and according to figures released by the Chartered Management Institute, the percentage rises to around 27 percent in companies that hold 250 to 1,000 employees.
Businesses have been given until April 2017 to figure out how they’ll collect their data and sort out their payments. The 8,000 or so businesses that will be affected by this new law will have their gender based payment statistics published online in 2018.
Another thing this new system demands from businesses, is the amount of males compared to females they have employed in both the same position is to be disclosed during the report. However, the new law isn’t welcomed with wide-open arms by everyone, some of those opposing the law, such as the Confederation of British Industry, say the listing of these salaries in such a manor is almost incomplete, as women are more likely than men to do part-time, or take time off. Other groups whom are unsatisfied with some parts of the new system, state that women should not have to wait another two years just to find out if they are making more money than their male counterparts.
According to Morgan, this is only the initial steps to fighting gender based pay inequalities. “These regulations are only one element of our strategy to tackle the complex drivers of the pay gap, and we are committed to promoting gender equality.” She continues by saying that “this government will ensure that women are given the support they need to progress from the classroom to the boardroom.”
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