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  • Emma Walsh

Gender pay gap reporting draws to a close at midnight tonight - 4 April 2018 #PayMeToo campaign set

All private companies with more than 250 employees must by law reveal the difference in hourly rate paid to men and women before midnight tonight

Wednesday 4 April 2018.

The #PayMeToo Campaign

A group of female MP's have joined forces to encourage women to hold their employers to account and demand action over the gender pay gap, as the deadline for reporting nears.

Led by Labour MP for Walthamstow, Stella Creasy,

MPs will on Monday launch an online campaign called #PayMeToo, which aims to give working women advice on how to tackle the gender pay where they work.

As companies report their gender pay gap and the disparity between male and female pay is revealed, disgruntled employees are asking what they can do to force their firms to take action.

The social media campaign aiming to keep pressure up on employers will launch alongside a #PayMeToo website on Monday.

It aims to ensure that women know they have the right to address pay issues at work, as well offering advice for what to do next, including working with trade unions and women’s networks.

The MPs are also asking women to complete and share the #PayMeToo survey, which they say “will help inform our debates on parliament about how to address these issues”.

The survey is to be a simple way for women to reveal issues in their workplaces in confidence.

“Women are already telling us that they are being told not to ask difficult questions about this for fear of affecting their careers and we want to be clear that trying to silence employees isn’t the right response,” she said.

Firms with a gender pay gap should expect to be challenged to address it and held to account if they try to stop staff speaking up, whether by trade unions, women’s networks or parliament.

Company information already filed on the Government Equalities Office portal – which requires companies to state their mean and median gender pay gap, bonus pay gap and percentage of men and women in each quartile of their business – has already revealed glaring pay gaps in many sectors.

In banking and finance, bonus gaps of more than 60% were not uncommon, academy school chains were shown to have some of the worst gender pay gaps in the UK; while in female-dominated workforce's in retail, gender pay gaps were as high as 50%.

The #PayMeToo campaign encourages women to ask colleagues what they earn, and ask managers to share the company’s action plan for dealing with the gender pay gap. It also suggests joining a union and urging union reps to take up the issue

Recent research from PWC suggested closing the gender pay gap could boost female earning by £90 bn.

Getting the figures published is just the start – now is the time to start challenging employers to take action to eliminate the gap.


Why are companies submitting pay data?

UK companies with 250 or more employees will have to publish their gender pay gap data by TODAY - 4 April 2018, under a new legal requirement.

Public, private and voluntary sector firms are now all required to disclose average pay for men and women, including bonuses.

Employers also have the option to include a narrative with their calculations to explain the reasons for the results, and give details about actions they are taking to tackle the gender pay gap.

Firms must publish a snapshot of their employee pay as at 5 April 2017 if they are a private business or charity, or 31 March 2017 for those in the public sector. All the data will eventually be available on a government database.

What is the gender pay gap?

The gender pay gap is the percentage difference between average hourly earnings for men and women.

Across the UK, men earned 18.4% more than women in April 2017, up 18.2% from a year earlier, the mean gender pay gap is 17.4% - according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This figure is calculated on a 1% sample of employees' jobs. It takes the median average for men and women, which is the level of pay that half of people earn more than, and half earn less than.

The gap between men and women's earnings for both full and part-time work fell from 27.5% in 1997 to 18.4% in 2017.

What is the difference between the gender pay gap and equal pay?

The pay gap isn't the same as equal pay. Equal pay - that men and women doing the same job should be paid the same - has been a legal requirement for 47 years.

Under the Equal Pay Act 1970, and more recently, the Equality Act 2010, it is unlawful to pay people unequally because they are a man or a woman. This applies to all employers, no matter how small.

So, a company might have a gender pay gap if a majority of men are in top jobs, despite paying male and female employees the same amount for similar roles.

Why is there a gender pay gap?

There's no one reason behind the gender pay gap - it's a complex issue.

The Fawcett Society, a group which campaigns for equality, says caring responsibilities can play a big part. Women often care for young children or elderly relatives. This means women are more likely to work in part-time roles, which are often lower paid or have fewer opportunities for progression.

Another important factor is a divided labour market. Women are still more likely to work in lower-paid and lower-skilled jobs. Women currently make up 62% of those earning less than the living wage, according to the Living Wage Foundation.

Discrimination is another cause of the gender pay gap. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (ECHR) has previously found that one in nine new mothers were either dismissed, made redundant or treated so poorly they felt they had to leave their job. This can create a gap in experience, leading to lower wages when women return to work.

Men also tend to take up the majority of the most senior roles at a company, which are the highest paid.



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