May urges firms to publish pay gaps


More companies should publish details of their gender pay gap in a renewed effort to improve equality in the workplace, Theresa May has said.

The deadline for large companies to publish pay gap data is nearing, and the prime minister is now appealing to smaller firms to disclose their pay details as well. Reducing the gap “once and for all” requires “sustained action” from employers, she said in a statement.

So far, 176 companies representing more than 312,000 workers have published their gender pay gap figures. Encouragingly, the pay gap for full-time workers, fell to a record low of 9.1% – down from 9.4% the previous years.

While this is a positive step in the right direction, government needs to play its part in improving gender equality in the workplace. Trades Union Congress chief Frances O’Grady called May’s announcement a “damp squib” and fears it will have little impact unless government forces the employers to follow the rules.

O’Grady said the pay gap will continue to close at a “snail’s pace” unless the government comes down much harder on employers.

“Real action should be taken to fine businesses who do not share information on what men and women are paid, and making firms explain what steps they are taking to close their pay gaps.”, O’Grady concludes.

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