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Government announce further measures to end gender pay gap

Consultation launched and new measures will see companies publish average earnings for both genders.

The Government has today announced further steps to eradicate the gender gap in pay.

It comes on the back of the new figures released that show the UK’s FTSE 100 has reached the target set out by Lord Davies in 2011 to ensure that 25% of board positions are filled by women.

Despite this success, the Prime Minister, David Cameron, thinks more needs to be done to achieve the goals of gender pay equality in the workplace.

Therefore, the Government has announced that any company that has more than 250 employees will be required to publish the difference between the average amount paid to its male and female workers.

In addition, the Government has today issued a consultation to look at new gender pay gap regulations and how they will be designed and the information that will be published.

The consultation, which is called ‘Closing the Gender Pay Gap’, will also canvass opinion on ways in which girls can be encouraged to consider a wide range of careers, while views will also be sought on what can be done to support parents returning to work and give any woman the best conditions to both reach potential and secure a job that is well paid.

More women-led businesses exist in the UK than ever before and the gender pay gap is at its lowest ever level. These measures will help to shorten the gap further.

David Cameron, explained his plans in the Times today. He said: “Today I’m announcing a really big move: we will make every single company with 250 employees or more publish the gap between average female earnings and average male earnings.

“That will cast sunlight on the discrepancies and create the pressure we need for change, driving women’s wages up.

“This goes back to what we announced at the Budget last week. Our aim is to fundamentally rebalance our economy – to transform Britain from a high-welfare, high-tax, low-pay economy into a lower welfare, lower tax, higher pay society.

“Higher pay is something we want for everyone. That is why the Chancellor announced the National Living Wage, which starts next April at £7.20 and will reach over £9 by 2020.

“This will primarily help women, who tend to be in lower paid jobs. It will help close the gender pay gap. But we need to go further and that’s why introducing gender pay audits is so important.

“Transparency, skills, representation, affordable childcare – these things can end the gender pay gap in a generation. That’s my goal.”

Joan Allan is the National Chairman for the Federation of Small Businesses and she believes that while the figures are encouraging, more needs to be done to “break down the remaining barriers” to women progressing even further.

“Our research shows growing numbers of women are choosing to start up in business and there are more women directors than ever before,” she said.

“To help support this trend, we need to keep up the momentum and break down the remaining barriers that prevent women progressing in the workplace and the boardroom, and so we welcome, and look forward to taking part in, the Government’s gender pay gap consultation.”

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