November the 10th marks #EqualPayDay. This day signifies when women stop earning relative to men due to the pay gap, which currently stands at 14.1% (ONS Annual Survey of Hours and Earning, 2017), and sadly, progress on closing the gap has stalled within the past three years. This pay gap changes according to age, and race, and is wider for older women (with a pay gap of 18.6%), women from Bangladeshi and Pakistani backgrounds (26.2%), and black African women (19.6%). It also differs according to the industry sector, for example, women working within finance and insurance earn a shocking 32.8% less than their male counterparts! In today’s blog, we’re going to discuss what you can do, as an employee and as an employer, to help speed up the rate in which we close this gap.
What you can do as an employee
Firstly, break down the stigma around discussing wages in the workplace. If you’re a female, ask your male colleagues what they earn. If it’s more than you, and you’re in the same role with the same level of experience, it’s time to act! Bring this to the attention of your human resources staff, it is illegal for comparative jobs to be paid less, exercise your rights. If you’re reluctant to push yourself forward, contact your workplace union. If your workplace does not have a union, you are free to join one as an individual.
What you can do as an employer
The first step at combating gender pay disparity as an employer is the most obvious one – pay your male and female staff equally! But the gender pay gap goes far deeper than the numbers on the bottom of payslips. Women need to be offered flexibility and support in the workplace, offer working from home, and flexible hours to all staff, and enable shared male parental leave – let’s break these barriers!
If you employ over 250 members of staff, from April 2017, you are required to publish information regarding your gender pay gap, gender bonus gap, and how many men and women within the business receive bonuses. You are also required to calculate the gender proportion in each of four pay quartiles (lowest to highest pay). This must be published on the government website (which can be found here), and your employee website.
A failure to comply with these rules before the April 2018 deadline, will lead to your businesses being contacted by the Equalities & Human Rights Commission, so get ahead of the curve by completing these actions now.