14th July 2015
Every company with more than 250 employees will be forced to publish the difference in average pay for male and female employees under new plans to tackle the gender pay gap unveiled by the Prime Minister today.
The Government says there are now more women-led businesses than ever before, a record number of women in work, and the gender pay gap is at an all-time low.
The FTSE 100 has reached Lord Davies’ target of 25% of board positions being filled by women – set in 2011.
However, women still earn an average of 80p for every £1 earned by a man.
A consultation, launched today, will look at the detail of how the new gender pay gap regulations will be designed, including what, where and when information will be published.
It will also seek views on what more can be done to encourage girls to consider the widest range of careers, support parents returning to work and help women of all ages reach their full potential and have the security of a well-paid job.
Writing in The Times today, the Prime Minister said: “Today I’m announcing a really big move: we will make every single company with 250 employees or more publish the gap between average female earnings and average male earnings. That will cast sunlight on the discrepancies and create the pressure we need for change, driving women’s wages up.
“This goes back to what we announced at the Budget last week. Our aim is to fundamentally rebalance our economy – to transform Britain from a high-welfare, high-tax, low-pay economy into a lower-welfare, lower-tax, higher-pay society. Higher pay is something we want for everyone.
“That is why the Chancellor announced the National Living Wage, which starts next April at £7.20 and will reach over £9 by 2020. This will primarily help women, who tend to be in lower paid jobs. It will help close the gender pay gap. But we need to go further, and that’s why introducing gender pay audits is so important.”
He added: “Transparency, skills, representation, affordable childcare – these things can end the gender pay gap in a generation. That’s my goal.
“This Government is providing a wide programme of support for women in the workplace, introducing 30 hours of free childcare, 20.6 million employees now able to benefit from flexible working, and the new careers service putting businesses in the lead and showing schoolgirls that no profession is off limits.”