Women will effectively work for free for the rest of 2017

Today, November 10th, is the day where women stop earning money compared to men in 2017, highlighting the need to close the gender pay gap.

Consider this: if someone asked you to continue doing your job for free until the end of the year, would you say yes? In the UK, Equal Pay Day marks the point in the year when women effectively stop being paid, while men continue earning.

Instant Offices delves into what the legal implications and desired outcomes of addressing the gender pay gap are.

Gender pay gap legislation

New gender pay gap reporting requirements, due to start in 2018, will require large employers to report on their gender pay gaps. For companies with over 250 staff members, the need to report their gender pay gap by April 2018 means that more than 8,000 businesses across the UK might currently be unprepared to meet their legal duties.

Aside from the much-needed transparency, the new legislation will encourage businesses to discuss their approach to pay with conviction – which could help change perceptions in traditionally male-orientated industries (such as engineering, finance, and politics) and top positions. This will encourage new talent to join your business, a win for gender equality and business growth.

What you can do to address and challenge the gender pay gap

As employers report how much they pay men and women in salaries and bonuses, research by ONS finds:

  • More women work part-time than men, leading to a larger pay gap overall
  • Since 1997 the gender pay gap has narrowed for full-time workers but widened for part-time workers
  • A higher proportion of women work in jobs that tend to be lower-paid
  • From age 40 the gap widens significantly

To contribute to a society in which individuals can fulfil their potential regardless of their gender, these steps, suggested by The Fawcett Society, will aid you and your employer in making a difference:

  • Talk about your salaries with your colleagues, and whether they know about new regulations being implemented next year, and if they are ready to implement this change
  • Contact your MP and enquire about what they will be doing to close the gender pay gap
  • Advertise jobs at all levels in your organisation as flexible, part-time or a job share, unless there is a strong business case not to
  • Support women to progress to higher paid jobs. Tackle unconscious bias and use targets or quotas to measure progress and focus minds

If you haven’t already, be sure to start curating your pay information today to avoid the implications of not complying with the legislation – contribute to gender equality in the workplace.

Further reading on pay gap for women

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the Smallbusiness.co.uk and Growthbusiness.co.uk titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the Express.co.uk.

Related Topics

Gender pay gap