Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)
Commission comments on Government announcement on closing the gender pay gap
Commenting in response to the Prime Minister’s announcement about Government measures to end the gender pay gap, a Commission spokesperson, said:
“We welcome the Government’s commitment to eliminating the gender pay gap in a generation. 45 years after the Equal Pay Act, the gender pay gap still persists, with the overall gap currently standing at 19.1 per cent.
“The Government’s implementation of the Equality Act provision will make it mandatory for companies to publish their gender pay gap. This is a positive development, given the poor response to previous attempts to encourage employers to publish this information voluntarily. Improving transparency about differences in the pay of men and women will shine a light on this important issue and encourage companies to take steps to close their gender pay gaps so they can attract and retain the best talent in their workforce.
“We also welcome the Government’s recognition that, as well as increased transparency about gender pay, concerted action to support women to achieve their potential in the workplace is needed. This includes developing flexible career paths for promotion, quality part-time work, regular pay audits and non- discriminatory recruitment processes.
“Women are a vital part of the workforce and these improvements will help support them at each level of their career. We look forward to taking part in the Government’s consultation.”“Women are a vital part of the workforce and these improvements will help support them at each level of their career. We look forward to taking part in the Government’s consultation.”
For more press information contact the Commission’s media office on 0161 8298102, out of hours 07767 272 818.
Notes to editors
- The Commission supported the previous Government’s Think, Act, Report Initiative to encourage companies to improve gender equality on a voluntary basis.However, only 270 employers are involved in the Think, Act, Report Initiative, compared to 6,700 companies with 250 or more employees in the UK.Of those, only five have signed up to publish their gender pay gaps. This suggests that a voluntary approach on its own will not deliver the transparency needed to achieve a change in companies’ behaviour.
- The Equality and Human Rights Commission is a statutory body established under the Equality Act 2006. It is an independent body responsible for protecting and promoting equality and human rights in Great Britain. It aims to encourage equality and diversity, eliminate unlawful discrimination, and promote and protect human rights. The Commission enforces equality legislation on age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation. It encourages compliance with the Human Rights Act 1998 and is accredited by the UN as an ‘A status’ National Human Rights Institution.
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