New rules on pay reporting won’t close gender pay gap

Published 6 April 2017

New pay reporting rules that come into force today (6 April) will not be enough to close the gender pay gap, said the Women’s Equality Party. The new rules require companies with 250 or more employees to report data about their gender pay gap, including the proportion of male and female employees in different pay bands, and information on bonus payments.

“Today, as the start of a new tax year marks the introduction at long last of these new reporting rules, the Women’s Equality Party are calling for much more to tackle the gender pay gap in the UK,” said party leader Sophie Walker. “The ongoing 19% differential between women and men’s pay is due to a combination of unequal opportunities in education, inflexible working, unaffordable childcare and a lack of shared parental leave. WE are the only political party making all of these issues a priority.”

“If the Government is serious about closing the gender pay gap they need to stop fiddling around the margins and build an economy that sees women. Our government should be working just as hard as industry to close the pay gap and by 2018 we will be demanding that both have made progress.”

Under the new reporting rules, employers with more than 250 employees have 12 months to publish their pay information by gender. The Women’s Equality Party would instead require companies to publish pay data broken down by age, ethnicity and disability, as well as gender, and would extend this to businesses with more than 50 employees within three years.

“It’s crucial that companies look inside themselves to really understand how their pay structures have been set up to disadvantage women and minority groups,” said Walker. “For example, we know that the pay gap between disabled women and non-disabled women is 22%. Tackling the complexity of the gender pay gap means going much further than the government’s current proposals and businesses should be leading the way.”

This week the party launched a billboard campaign in Liverpool, where it is standing a candidate in the Metro Mayoral election, drawing attention to the pay gap in the Northwest.

Tabitha Morton said she was proud to represent the party in the Liverpool City Region race. “The gender pay gap means that women in the Northwest take home £23.7 billion less than men - every single year - which is not only unfair, it also a huge lost opportunity,” she said. “Tackling the pay gap not only makes sense for our economy, it also makes sense for families and for employers - businesses prosper when they have a diverse workforce.”

Morton is campaigning for a better devolution deal for Liverpool. “The Northern Powerhouse project was set up to boost economic growth in the north of England,” she said. “Liverpool’s devolution deal was negotiated by a team of old white men, and is a project that cannot succeed if it fails to harness the talents of half its population.”

She added: “I want more for the women of Liverpool City Region, who have borne the brunt of Government cuts to services and benefits, meaning many now struggle with living and childcare costs. I’ll be making a big announcement on this later in my campaign.”

She added: “I will campaign tirelessly until election day on 4 May to ensure that Liverpool City Region puts women at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse, and starts to make the most of their talents for the benefit of all in the North West.”