Prime Minister David Cameron is moving forward with his plan to end the gender pay gap within a generation by pressuring big companies to publish their pay gap.
Currently for full-time employees the gap stands at 9.4 percent, as of April this year and for part-time employees the gap is 19.1 percent (ONS), the lowest since 1997.
The new National Living Wage, which is part of the Budget, will start next April at £7.20 and will reach £9 by 2020. The Prime Minister hopes this will help to close the gender pay gap and is part of the government move to re-balancing the economy.
The Prime Minister announced today:
“We will make every single company with 250 employees or more publish the gap between average female earnings and average male earnings. That will cast sunlight on the discrepancies and create the pressure we need for change, driving women’s wages up.
“Our aim is to fundamentally rebalance our economy – to transform Britain from a high-welfare, high-tax, low-pay economy into a lower-welfare, lower-tax, higher-pay society. Higher pay is something we want for everyone. That is why the Chancellor announced the National Living. This will primarily help women, who tend to be in lower paid jobs. It will help close the gender pay gap. But we need to go further, and that’s why introducing gender pay audits is so important.
“Transparency, skills, representation, affordable childcare – these things can end the gender pay gap in a generation. That’s my goal.”
The UK’s FTSE has also reached Lord Davies’ target, set in 2011, of 25 percent of board positions filled by women.
Secretary of State for Education, and Minister for Women and Equalities, Nicky Morgan says:
“I am delighted that we have hit the target so that women now make up 25% of all FTSE 100 company boards. But while I am proud of the progress made, there can be no room for complacency when it comes to securing equality for women.
“That is why we are committing to eliminating the gender pay gap in a generation. This is not just the right thing to do, it makes good business sense: supporting women to fulfil their potential could increase the size of our economy by 35%. To achieve gender equality we need to continue to inspire young women and girls so that they can compete with the best in the world for the top jobs – and see that their hard work will pay off.”
John Allan, National Chairman for the Federation of Small Businesses, says:
“Our research shows growing numbers of women are choosing to start-up in business, and there are more women directors than ever before. To help support this trend we need to keep up the momentum and break down the remaining barriers that prevent women progressing in the workplace and the boardroom, and so we welcome, and look forward to taking part in, the government’s gender pay gap consultation.”