United Kingdom gender pay gap just under 10%

Sexual Harassment Is Widening the Wage Gap

Or at least, that's what the law requires.

Today companies across the United Kingdom have revealed data documenting the levels of pay disparity between men and women, with around 78 per cent of them paying men more money on average.

"Equal pay for equal work" became a rallying cry in the 1960s, and it hasn't gone away since then. And what will the government do about the companies that fess up to significant problems?

Almost eight out of 10 companies and public sector bodies pay men more than women as the deadline passed for organisations to report their gender pay gaps. It also showed a median average of 9 per cent.

This will give us a good idea of which sectors have the highest and lowest gender pay gaps, and will help single out individual companies that are doing particularly badly.

The gender pay gap is the difference between the average hourly earnings of men and women.

Is your company paying you equally?

The median gap at Ipswich Town is less than half the 20% reported by East Anglian rivals Norwich City, where mean average pay for women is 76% lower than that for men.

Some cases are easily explicable. Some of this will be down to women's own choices; some will be created or exacerbated by employers.

Figures compiled by David Kane, a freelance data scientist and researcher, looked at the 568 charities identified in the government's gender pay gap data.

But the limits of this week's data don't end there.

Rebecca Hilsenrath is chief executive of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), which can prosecute large companies that have not reported their gender pay gap details.

A Labour spokeswoman said the party's mean gender pay gap was 2.4 per cent for all party staff compared to the Tories' mean gender pay gap at their headquarters of 4.6 per cent.

He said the company's official Gender Pay working group, made up of representatives from each department, had met for the first time in a "frank and honest" discussion, which he described as a "very positive first step", and that he had been talking with departments on gender pay. "It is the right thing to do, and we will be enforcing against all those organisations which failed to meet the deadline".

Now that the numbers are in, it's time for companies to make sweeping changes-or at least that's what the government hopes will happen.

Meanwhile, high street brands KFC, Matalan, Starbucks, Costa, McDonald's and Primark reported no difference in what they paid their female and male staff.

Telford & Wrekin Council's pay gap, while still in favour of men, was closer to the national average at 7.9 per cent, coming in 144th. Employers won't face penalties even if they report discrepancies year after year.

As the focus turns to narrowing the gap, experts recommended more companies consider implementing policies such as flexible working.

"We'll never close the pay gap if we don't get serious about solving the opportunity gap".

Prime Minister Theresa May called the gender pay gap a "burning injustice", and added that the whole of society would remain "poorer" if outdated employment practices went unchallenged. By contrast, technology and education have the lowest pay gaps at 0.8% and 0.6%, respectively. After Iceland began enforcing pay audits, some employers sought to hire more women for jobs traditionally held by men.

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