Companies in the UK have until midnight tonight to comply with a new government mandate requiring employers with 250 or more staff to reveal any gender pay gap.
Tonight's deadline was set in a new law introduced last year to try to tackle wage differences between men and women carrying out the same job.
Writing in The Daily Telegraph today, the Prime Minister Theresa May calls the disparity a “burning injustice”, saying progress is “far too slow” and calling for an end to the gap “within a generation”.
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“It is essential that we [tackle the gap],” she writes. “Most importantly, because equality for women is a right, and our whole society is the poorer as long as it remains unrealised.”
Most of the firms affected have already reported, says Politico’s Jack Blanchard, “with the median hourly shortfall for women standing at 18%”.
Of the around 9,000 firms with more than 250 staff required to report by midnight, the BBC notes 8,870 had done so as of 7.00am.
Of those that have already published data, “78% pay men more than women, while 13% pay women more”, it adds.
“A whiff of revolution is in the air,” says The Guardian, with employees joining together in an attempt to force their firms to take action.
On Monday, Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy will lead a group of politicians launching an online campaign called #PayMeToo, which aims to give working women advice on how to tackle any disparity.
It “encourages women to speak to their colleagues and bosses about the need to tackle gender pay gaps”, says The Independent, and “advises that they join a trade union and set up a women’s network at work”.
Those wishing to find out their own employer’s disclosure can visit the government’s pay gap website, which shows the average difference in earnings across each organisation.
Particularly telling is the section where companies reveal what percentage of the best and worst-paid members of staff are women. “This should give a clear insight into how committed the organisation is towards promoting women,” says The Guardian.
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