UK workers back pay transparency to fight inequality

A new survey using YouGov stats has revealed that the majority of British workers would back pay transparency measures to tackle income inequality, as calls mount for Scandinavian-style income disclosures in Britain.

The survey showed 56 per cent of workers support making personal information such as monthly income and tax returns publicly available. The poll joins growing calls from Labour, trade unions, thinktanks and campaign groups to introduce pay disclosures to tackle heightened levels of inequality in Britain. The findings from the survey of more than 2,000 full-time employees indicate British workers want to know how much their colleagues are paid and would be ready to give up their own privacy in exchange.

Pawel Adrjan, the UK economist at Indeed, commented,

[This is] perhaps that is in part due to the huge interest that gender pay gap reporting has gathered, but perhaps more so thanks to the new generation of younger workers with different views on money and the workplace.

According to official figures, one-quarter of companies and public sector bodies in the UK have a pay gap of more than 20 per cent in favour of men.The survey asked whether workers would support a system of publicly available pay information online that anyone could see to ensure transparency and fairness. Most approved of the idea, 33 per cent opposed it and 11 per cent were undecided.

Indeed believes its research is the first time such a study has found support for pay transparency measures in Britain, which alongside the US has typically been less supportive of the idea. In Norway, every citizen’s earnings are made available for the public to inspect in a system that has been in place since the early 1800s. In Sweden, companies with 25 or more employees must have an equality action plan, and every worker’s pay details can be accessed from tax authorities.

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