Actions and Detail Panel
Debating London: The Gender Pay Gap
Wed 2 March 2016, 19:30 – 21:30 GMT
Debating London invites you to a public debate on the gender pay gap - FREE ADMISSION
The motion reads:
'Forcing UK employers to disclose their gender pay gap will not help close it'
This February, the government announced that from 2018, all UK employers who hire over 250 people will have to report on their 'gender pay gap' - the difference in pay received by men and women who do the same job. The rationale for the decision is that there remains an estimated 19.2% pay gap even though it is against the law to pay men and women different amounts for doing the same job.
However, many people are unhappy with the decision. On the one hand, business groups and influential parts of the governing Conservative party are concerned that the new regulations will be used to name and shame some employers by ranking them in a league table, while unions and the Labour party complain that they should have come into effect this year, as originally promised by the Prime Minister before last year's election.
The main sticking point, though, is whether forcing employers to release this information will actually solve the problem. The business community outreach charity, Business In The Community (BITC), say that compulsory reporting will lead to a reduction in bias and make decision-making more transparent. However, the Chartered Institute of Personal Development (CIPD) worry that revealing which firms and industries have the biggest pay gaps may deter even more women from entering those professions in the first place.
According to the House of Commons Library and the Office of National Statistics, average pay for female employees working full-time is lower than that for men - specifically 9.4% lower. That figure grows to the oft-quoted 19.2% when you include part-time workers in the mix. This represents a significant decrease from an estimated 27.5% gender pay gap 20 years ago.
UK employers were first asked to report on their gender pay gap by the coalition government, but on a voluntary basis. After only a handful of firms complied, the government announced that in 2016, gender pay gap reporting would be made compulsory, but this has now been delayed to 2018. Employment tribunals can already require companies to disclose this information in discrimination cases.
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Other than that, grab yourself a seat and drink and enjoy the debate!