Gender Pay Gap Consultation Launched

The government has this week confirmed that it is to launch a consultation to force employers with more than 250 workers to disclose the rates of pay for men and women. David Cameron has said that he intends to make every single employer with 250 employees or more publish the gap between average female earnings and average male earnings. The reason for this, in David Cameron’s view, is that it will show the discrepancy between the pay men and women receive.

This is an important issue since research shows that for full and part-time workers in the UK a woman on average earns around 80p for every £1 earned by a man.

The consultation will seek views on the level of detail that should be provided. It will also seek views as to whether employers should be required to provide additional contextual information for example to explain any pay gaps that may exist and to set out what remedial action they intend to take. In addition the frequency of the publication will also be consulted on.

The consultation will close on 6 September 2015 and currently it is intended that the law will be introduced in the first half of 2016. That timetable may well change.

For now this is an important development and something that larger employers need to be fully aware of going forward.