“It is a century since women first won the right to vote in Britain. Let us honour that brave generation by making this the year we win equal pay.” Carrie Gracie, Journalist.
The Equal Pay Act 1970 was introduced 48 years ago to ensure equal pay for men and women who do equivalent or ‘like’ work, yet women are still earning less than men.
The Government has pledged to ‘end gender pay gap in a generation.’ Consequently, gender pay gap reporting is now mandatory for all organisations with 250 or more employees.
We predicted that one of the consequences of publishing the gender pay gap would be an increase in grievances about pay which in turn could result in equal pay claims; our prediction was right!
Last year the BBC published a 10.7% gender pay gap. As a result, according to BBC Women, a group of about 150 broadcasters and producers made complaints about equal pay.
Carrie Gracie, who worked as the China Editor for the BBC “learned that in the previous financial year, the two men earned at least 50% more than the two women”. She maintains that “this is not the gender pay gap that the BBC admits to…. It is pay discrimination and it is illegal.” The BBC maintains that there were differences between roles which justified the pay gap. Carrie Gracie resigned as a result of a “dismayingly incompetent and undermining grievance process which still has no outcome.” It is said that the BBC have commissioned PwC to conduct a pay audit of all ‘on-air’ staff. The Equality and Human Rights Commission has also recently announced that it will consider whether further action against the BBC is required.
The BBC is not however the only organisation which has identified a gender pay gap. Based on the data published to date (of approximately 500 organisations); PwC themselves have a high gender pay gap, with a 33.1% difference in women’s pay compared to men. Based on published data, the highest is Phase Eight with a 64.8% difference. Virgin Money, Ladbrokes Coral and Easy Jet have all been in the news recently as a result of their high gender pay gap.
The pressure for transparency and equal pay is growing; is your business ready for this change?
If you have any questions on gender pay gap reporting, equal pay or employment law generally please contact Angharad Ellis Owen (firstname.lastname@example.org ~ 01284 717453) or Greg Jones (email@example.com ~ 01284 717446).