March 8th is International Women’s Day 2016, and the theme this year is #PledgeForParity.
Regulations announced on 12 February 2016 say that companies with more than 250 employees that fail to prevent pay gaps between male and female staff will be named in new league tables, a measure said to affect around 8,000 employers across the UK.
The measures won’t take place until 2018, which gives firms time to address the issue and redress the balance.
Estimates from the ONS (Office for National Statistics) in November 2015 showed that in the year to April 2015, average earnings for full-time employees increased by 1.8 per cent. But within those figures, there were a number of gender pay gaps.
For full-time employees, the average salary/earnings showed a pay gap of 9.4%, which while being the lowest gap since the survey began in 1997, had barely changed in the past four years. Men who work full-time earned, on average, £567 a week in April 2015 compared to £471 for women. However, when full and part-time employees are combined, the gender pay gap rises to 19.2% – meaning that on average for every £1 a man earns, a woman earns just 80p.
According to Kate Green, the shadow minister for women and equality, “At this rate, it will be another 47 years until the gap is closed, so we haven’t a moment to lose.”
It’s not just about basic pay of course. Other areas that need to be improved are inclusive workplaces, the ‘glass ceiling’ and representation at the higher and leadership levels in many companies.
For more information visit the International Women’s Day 2016 website.