As everyone will no doubt be aware of by now, the new gender pay gap reporting legislation will take effect in April 2017. Charged with combating the issue of the pay gap in the workplace, the new legislation has a big mountain to climb.
While the pay gap has reduced over recent years, with it now estimated to be around 5% among workers in their twenties, there is still a lot more that needs to be done in order to achieve proper pay parity. The new reporting legislation is certainly going to raise the visibility of the issue, but will this be enough in your company?
Looking at the numbers
According to recent research from the UK’s leading independent job board, CV-Library, there is still a lot to do in order to close the pay gap between the genders. The research, which surveyed over 1,000 UK workers, found that almost a quarter of women (23.3%) have been affected by the gender pay gap at some point in their careers. Furthermore, a staggering 87.9% of those affected stated that they were paid less as a result of their gender.
Alongside this, when asked about their salary expectations, just under a quarter (24.9%) of women expected to be paid more than £25,000. In stark contrast, almost half (43.9%) of men expected to earn over £25,000. This points towards an ingrained salary discrepancy between the genders. In addition to this, it has been well documented that there are less women in higher managerial positions across the UK.
The combination of these two factors is cause for concern among UK businesses. Not only do women expect lower pay, but they find themselves not making their way up the ladder as much as men. As such, businesses need to look how they champion women in the workplace in order to create more diversity amongst the higher positions in their company.
Will the report be enough?
The gender pay gap reporting legislation will go a long way towards helping the issues of pay discrepancies between men and women, but will this really be enough?
Of course, the reporting legislation will inevitably raise the profile of the pay gap and make the issue clearer than ever before. However, over half (67.3%) of those questioned, feel that their employers can already effectively measure any pay gaps in their organisation.
Furthermore, according to CV-Library’s findings, over half (57.4%) of those surveyed stated that they feel more can be done alongside this.
The general consensus from employees seems to be that while the new reporting legislation will help raise visibility of the issue, many feel that companies can already measure pay gaps in the business. Overall, the feeling amongst UK workers is that, while the legislation will raise awareness of the issue, more needs to be done alongside this in order to effect real change.
What else can be done?
The question for many companies will be: what can we do to help reduce the pay gap between men and women?
There seems to be a prevailing theme among workers when it comes to ways to help address the pay gap. When asked what else they felt should be done in tandem with the reporting legislation, the top results were:
- A set salary for each industry/role – 46%
- More support for working mums and dads – 29%
- End the stigma around women going on maternity leave – 12.5%
- More confidence among women to ask for more money – 12.5%
Evidently there is still a lot that needs to be done alongside the reporting legislation in order to eradicate the gender pay gap. With many UK employees feeling that there is more businesses and the government can do to help combat this issue, the challenge now is for companies to use the reporting legislation as a springboard to effect change across the UK.