26th October 2015
Prime Minister David Cameron and Women and Equalities Minister Nicky Morgan have announced new measures to eradicate gender inequality in the work place.
Under the plans, the government is pledging to eliminate all-male boards in the FTSE 350 and force larger employers to publish information about their bonuses as part of their gender pay gap reporting.
It also wants to extend its plans for gender pay gap reporting to include the public sector.
Earlier this year, business hit the 25% target for women on boards set by Lord Davies. He is now preparing to release his final report on women on boards, which will outline his final recommendations.
Cameron said: “You can’t have true opportunity without equality. There is no place for a pay gap in today’s society and we are delivering on our promises to address it.”
Morgan added: “Governing as one nation means ensuring everyone is given a fair shot to succeed, regardless of their gender. That’s why, from the opportunities women are given in school to the ability to move up the executive pipeline, we are determined to tackle the barriers to women achieving their all.
“Business has made huge amounts of progress already in recent years – the gender pay gap is the lowest since records began, but it should appal us all that, 100 years on from the Suffragette movement, we still don’t have gender equality in every aspect of our society.”
A consultation which concluded in September asked employers and employees for their views on how, when and where the data should be published. The government said that new regulations, which set out how this will work in practice will be rolled out in due course.
Responding to the announcement, TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said that publishing information on gender pay gaps in salaries and bonuses is “a start”.
But O’Grady urged that if the prime minister is serious about ending the gender pay gap within a generation he must not delay mandatory pay gap reporting and he should “extend the law to medium-size companies as well as large employers.”
She said that companies that do not comply with the law should be fined.
O’Grady said: “If the government really wants to help women workers, it should also stop cutting tax credits and public services that make up a vital part of women’s income.
“It is shocking the UK still has such a large gender pay gap 45 years after the Equal Pay Act and I would urge all women concerned about their pay to join their union, to get their voice heard and their interests represented at work.”