Voluntary Gender Pay Gap Reporting Not Working

2 mins

Posted on 21 Aug 2014

Only four companies have published details of their gender pay gap, despite more than 200 firms signing up to the Government Equalities Office voluntary pay reporting initiative Think, Act, Report. 

The Think, Act, Report initiative, introduced in September 2011, provided a step-by-step approach for employers to identify and take action to address their gender pay issues and to report publicly on their progress. 

Two companies, Friends Life and Genesis Housing, published detailed gender pay gap information broken down by grade and Tesco and Astra Zeneca published general pay gap statistics. 

The voluntary approach was preferred to the alternative of using powers in the Equality Act 2010 to require private sector employers with 250 or more employees to report gender pay gap information. The Liberal Democrats, who, in the run-up to the next election, are seeking to differentiate themselves from their Tory counterparts, have said that they will enact compulsory pay reporting if they win the election.

The lack of take up, revealed in response to a parliamentary question by the shadow women and equalities minister, comes as latest figures from the Office for National Statistics reveal that across the UK, women earn on average 87 pence for every pound earned by men. 

In broad terms, the widening pay gap between men and women is echoed in the findings of Doyle Clayton’s recent report entitled 'Age before Beauty?', which found that unlawful discrimination in the workplace is alive and well.

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