The BCC has urged businesses to reduce the gender pay gap” align=”right”>The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has urged businesses to take swift action to ensure they are compliant with equal pay laws, after research showed women are still being paid considerably less than men.

Figures released by the organisation revealed that female workers receive on average 16.4 per cent less per hour than their male colleagues, with the pay gap seven per cent larger in the private sector than in the public sector.

"Taking action now to make pay systems transparent and fair should help businesses recruit the best talent to enable the private sector to drive economic recovery," said BCC director general David Frost.

The business body has joined forces with the Equality and Human Rights Commission to launch new guidelines, aimed at making the process of reducing salary inequality easier for the UK's small to medium-sized businesses.

Last month, a study from the Chartered Management Institute showed that the pay gap between men and women is unlikely to be closed until 2067.

Posted by Colette Paxton