Young Women’s Trust, a charity for women aged 16-30 on low or no pay, is calling for more action to reduce the gender pay gap, as new reporting requirements come into effect in April. The charity fears that pay transparency, intended to encourage employers to reduce the gender pay gap, will be ineffective without enforcement and proper plans to tackle reported inequalities.
From Thursday 6 April, firms with more than 250 employees will be required to record pay data, ready to report on their gender pay gap in 2018. Under current legislation, there are no penalties for firms that do not comply and no obligation for them to take action to close their gaps.
Young Women’s Trust chief executive Dr Carole Easton OBE said:
“Gender pay gap reporting is a great step forward but does not go far enough to close the gap.
“The new legislation will only be effective if the government puts in place and enforces penalties for firms that fail to report their pay gaps accurately. Where pay gaps do exist, Young Women’s Trust would like to see that companies are obliged to put in place plans to reduce them.
“Pay transparency alone will not change the gender stereotypes that often determine the types of roles men and women take and the industries they work in. We need action to support young women into male-dominated areas if we are to close the gender pay gap. Making apprenticeships work for women, including by providing more part-time and flexible apprenticeships to help them balance work and family life, would be a great start.”
Young Women’s Trust is calling for:
- the government to require businesses to publish gender pay gap data annually according to a standard format;
- companies to publish the pay gap data broken down by both gender and age;
- the government to make provisions for enforcement to ensure companies comply with the regulations;
- the government to seek to extend the requirement to all businesses by offering support to small business to publish their own gender pay gap data;
- the government to seek to further investigate the causes of young women’s low pay and take steps to address this issue; and
- an obligation on companies to put in place plans to reduce their gender pay gap where gaps exist.
Organisations will need to start recording data from today onwards in order to report on their gender pay gap in 2018.