IN 2017 the government decided all companies with 250 or more employees must publish their gender pay gap. Reporter MILLIE SALKELD looked at the data from firms in our area and asked them about the issue.
As part of a government initiative, UK companies will now have to publish their gender pay gap information each year.
It’s a bid to tackle an issue which nationally sees women paid 18.4 per cent lower per hour than men on average (mean).
It does not mean women and men are paid differently for the same job, but looks at the overall picture across each organisation.
Firms with 250 employers or more qualify as ‘relevant employers’, with public sector organisations reporting by March 30 each year while businesses and charities have until April 4 to publish their information.
The regulations will cover approximately 9,000 employers with over 15 million employees, representing nearly half of the UK’s workforce.
As director of Mumbelievable, Ursula Tavender consults with companies wanting to move towards a more supportive, flexible and inclusive culture for working parents and has welcomed the government’s initiative.
The mum-of-one from Warsash said: ‘It is definitely a step in the right direction, but there is still a long way to go before this issue is resolved and in our local area it is good to see most companies do not exceed the national average.
Ursula believes there needs to be a review of recruitment processes, including removing indications of gender from job applications and offering training to hiring managers.
She said: ‘There needs to be a total change in the culture to truly tackle the gender pay gap. For me, like many others, going back to work after having children is difficult as the kind of role I am qualified to do does not allow flexibility in hours.
‘The way I work now, I can work my hours around childcare but for many people that is not possible at the moment and I believe there needs to be a scheme to allow the structuring of job roles at all levels to provide that flexibility for employees with dependent children and other caring commitments.’