Call for action on gender pay gap

The gender pay gap is closing too slowly and companies should be obliged to publish action plans on how they will address it, says the TUC.

Gender Pay gap

 

The TUC has called on the Government to require companies to publish action plans on how they will address the gender pay gap and to strengthen access to flexible working.

The call comes on the deadline for gender pay gap reporting this year. Gender pay gap reporting was introduced in 2017 for employers with more than 250 employees, but TUC says pay gap is closing “at a snail’s pace”, falling at an average of just 0.4% a year.

TUC General Secretary Paul Nowak said: “Working women deserve equal pay. But the gender pay gap is closing at a snail’s pace. At current rates of progress, it will take more than 20 years to close it.

“That’s just not good enough. Ministers must step up, or we will consign yet another generation of women to lower pay.

“It’s clear that just publishing gender pay gaps isn’t working. Companies must be required to publish action plans to explain what steps they’ll take to close their pay gaps. And these measures should be extended to ethnicity and disability as we know Black and minority ethnic and disabled women face even larger pay gaps.

“Flexible working is key to keeping mums in jobs and is our best way of closing the gender pay gap.

“Ministers must change the law so that every single job is advertised with the possible flexible options stated, and all workers must have the legal right to work flexibly from their first day in a job.”

Meanwhile, new legislation will require EU companies to disclose information that makes it easier for employees to compare salaries and to expose existing gender pay gaps. Under the rules, pay structures to compare pay levels will have to be based on gender-neutral criteria and include gender-neutral job evaluation and classification systems. Vacancy notices and job titles will have to be gender neutral and recruitment processes led in a non-discriminatory manner. If pay reporting shows a gender pay gap of at least 5%, employers will have to conduct a joint pay assessment in cooperation with their workers’ representatives.

Member states will have to put in place effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties, such as fines, for employers that infringe the rules. A worker who has suffered harm as a result of an infringement will have the right to claim compensation. For the first time, intersectional discrimination and the rights of non-binary persons have been included in the scope of the new rules.



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