The Gender Pay Gap: Does Your Business Pay Equally?
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The Gender Pay Gap: Does Your Business Pay Equally?

Some in Hollywood have recently shone a very bright light on pay disparity, criticising the fact that the highest paid actor in 2016-2017 – Mark Wahlberg – earned nearly 3 times more than the highest paid actress – Emma Stone.

Many of the biggest names have spoken out, including Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Chastain and Charlize Theron. Others have highlighted that male actors can often continue their career far beyond their 50s, while actresses generally struggle to find roles when they age. Equally, superhero-themed films and action blockbusters are often dominant at the box office and commonly feature more male actors than female stars.

It’s Not Just a Hollywood Problem

In 2017 men earned 18.4% more than women on average, taking into account the median average pay for men and women in the UK in full and part time work. Several reasons have been suggested, including women often struggling to maintain their careers after maternity leave, and men dominating higher paid C-suite and senior positions.

The Fawcett Society campaign for pay equality highlights some of the causes, including the fact that “women often care for young children or elderly relatives” and are more likely to work in lower paid, part-time roles as a result. The Living Wage Foundation also highlights the fact that “62% of those earning less than the real Living Wage are women”, and are more likely to work in low paid, unstable jobs than men.

Businesses With 250+ Staff Have to Report Their Pay Gap

Large companies will have to publish their gender pay gap information before April 2018, whether they’re public, private or voluntary sector. Insurance company Aviva, which employs 16,000 UK staff, has “a median pay gap of 27.6%”. They’re one of few financial firms to come forward with their results. Airline Easyjet have “reported that women’s median hourly pay rates are 45.5% lower than men’s”.

So far, just 854 employers have reported their gender pay gap data out of the 9000 that are required to by law.

Is Your Business Doing Enough?

Smaller businesses are exempt, but it doesn’t mean the legal requirements of equal pay don’t affect them. An important place to start is the issue of ‘like work’ pay gaps.

The Equality Act 2010 made it illegal for employers to prevent their staff from discussing differences in pay, so your staff are allowed to have those conversations and take action if their pay isn’t equal to someone else in the same role. Equal pay can cover basic rates of pay, overtime, benefits, annual leave allowances, and non-monetary rewards too.

Since 2014, “employers who lose equal pay claims could be forced to conduct an equal pay audit and publish the results”, so it will save business owners significant money and time to review all rates of pay while the equal pay conversation is developing and gaining more and more traction.

Capify can help you improve cash flow and invest in staff. Depending on your monthly turnover, you can raise between £3,500 and £500,000 to pay for essential business growth.

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