David Cameron has advised that large companies are to be forced to disclose whether they are paying male employees more than female employees.
These new measures will be enacted in 2016 requiring employers with at least 250 employees to publish information about their gender pay gap. The precise details of these new measures are the subject of the current consultation, which is due to conclude on 6 September 2015.
Cameron states he wants to end the gender pay gap “within a generation.” It currently stands at 19.1% for full- and part-time workers in the UK, meaning a woman on average earns around 80p for every £1 earned by a man.
As part of these measures large companies will finally be forced to disclose whether they are paying men more than women. In a move that has long been resisted by businesses and parts of the Conservative party, the prime minister will bring forward rules by the first half of next year to make companies with more than 250 workers disclose the pay gap in their workplaces.
The prime minister’s decision to act on the gender pay gap appears to be another example of the Conservatives taking one of Labour’s policy ideas. It was acting Labour leader Harriet Harman who first included powers for the government to force companies to reveal their gender pay gap in the Equalities Act of 2010 but the coalition failed to enact the provisions in that law, favouring a voluntary approach.