Gender Pay Gap Now Extended To Include Bonuses

Gender Pay Gap Now Extended To Include Bonuses

New Government legislation will now require large businesses to publish details of bonuses awarded to men and women, a requirement that will also be extended to the public sector, in a bid to help close the gender pay gap.

On average women in the UK earn 19.1 per cent less than men. The planned regulations will apply to businesses in England, Wales and Scotland with more than 250 employees.

Downing Street said the rule on bonuses is the first of a number of equality-boosting measures that will be set out in the coming days. The measures, which were legislated for by Labour in 2010 as part of The Equity Act, but were blocked from implementation by the Conservatives until this year – will cover more than 10 million workers across the country.

Bonuses are a topical matter as this is where gender bias can often go unnoticed. Ann Francke, chief executive of the Chartered Management Institute, said: “One of the biggest drivers of gender pay discrepancy, especially at senior levels, is the bonus gap.[…] “Bonuses are also where gender bias can creep in easily as they are amongst the least transparent forms of pay.”

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Other measures that will be introduced include:

  • Every company with more than 250 employees will be required by law to publish the difference between the average pay of their male and female employees
  • The requirements will be extended to the public sector as well as private and voluntary sector employers
  • A target to include women on the boards of all the UK’s top 350 companies will be introduced – after the aim of getting women into at least a quarter of boardroom seats in FTSE 100 firms was met.

Nicky Morgan, the Minister for Women and Equalities, said the plan would help the Tories deliver on their post-election promise to govern as a party of “one nation” so that “everyone is given a fair shot to succeed, regardless of their gender”.

Morgan further commented: “Business has made huge amounts of progress already in recent years – the gender pay gap is the lowest since records began, but it should appall us all that, 100 years on from the Suffragette movement, we still don’t have gender equality in every aspect of our society.”

A consultation with big businesses on the matter was concluded in September and details on how the new regulations will implemented will be set out in due course.

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