Yesterday (20th October), a Labour MP presented a bill in Parliament that would mean businesses with 100 or more employees would be required to release their gender pay gap data.

Labour MP, Stella Creasy, presented a bill in Parliament yesterday which would, by law, make it mandatory for businesses to release data regarding gender pay gaps within their company.

This would also introduce ethnicity pay gap reporting as well as allowing employees to know what someone of the opposite sex is being paid. It also reduces the threshold for gender pay reporting from businesses with 250 employees to organisations with 100 employees. Finally, the bill makes it mandatory for companies to produce action plans for closing the gender pay gap.

This bill, the Equal Pay Implementation and Claims Bill (EPIC), has received cross-party support. Other members of Parliament who support this bill include Caroline Nokes (the Conservative chair of the Women and Equalities Committee), Christine Jardine (the Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson), Anne McLaughlin (the Shadow SNP’s Spokesperson for Women and Equalities) and Caroline Lucas (Co-Leader of the Green Party).

Speaking in Parliament, Stella Creasy stated that women have been asking for equal pay since 1833. She also addressed that data from this year shows that the gender pay gap has actually been increasing. Ms. Creasy stated that nine out of 10 women in the UK work in organisations that pay them less on average than their male counterparts.

Despite this bill’s cross-party support, some believe that it would be difficult for smaller organisations to put this into practice.

Dr. Roger Barker, Director of Policy and Corporate Governance for the Institute of Directors (IoD) said:

At this difficult time, many small firms will be wary of extra demands on their resources, which may already be stretched to the limit.

While we would encourage smaller companies to publish this data on a voluntary basis if feasible, we are concerned that imposing new obligatory reporting requirements on SMEs would be a step too far at the current juncture.

Nicole Sahin, Founder and CEO of Globalization Partners, a company that assists organisations in expanding, said:
In striving for workplace equality, businesses must never forget that management and cultural authenticity determine the success of every relevant decision, activity and message. The ability of employers to enact meaningful change is directly linked to the quality of their organisational values and whether they are effectively shared across their entire team.
When team members of different ethnicities or gender are part of a team where they can share their viewpoints, businesses quickly realise what a diverse talent base can do for the company. It’s been proven time and again that companies with employees who are diverse in both inherent and acquired traits (gained from life and work experiences) are more likely to achieve market growth.  It’s a little harder for executives to find people outside of their network, but doing the hard work upfront has a multiplicative impact on the bottom line of the business.