UK Government Announces Plan to Reduce the Gap in Gender Pay

download (5)The UK government has recently announced that there will be a £2 million fund spent on initiatives aimed at reducing the gender pay gap between males and females. The funding will be spent on training, events, and monitoring programmes to help females move from low paid and low skilled work into jobs that are higher paid and higher skilled.

The measures will also hopefully help female employees in the event that they need to hold their company or employers to account over equal pay, or the lack thereof.

Currently the overall, average pay gap is 19.7%, and though this figure has been reduced from 25% in the last ten years, it still reflects unfair treatment of workers – in particular elderly and part-time employees. One reason for the gap is that there are more women, on average, in low paid jobs. The scheme will be looking to offer the necessary training to aim to help them move into the higher paid positions, careers and professions.

The initiative is to be carried out the by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills and will target women working in the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), retail and hospitality management, and agricultural sectors in particular.

The government will also:

• Publish guidance that will help women to compare their pay rate to their male counterparts.
• Invest £50,000 into further guidance to enable female employees to hold their companies to account in the event that they feel that they’ve been underpaid or paid incorrectly.
• Create and launch free pay analysis software to be made available to all companies and businesses so that they can calculate their gender pay gap.
• Implement extra measures to reinforce the existing Think, Act, Report initiative.

The minister for Women and Equalities, Nicky Morgan, stated that: “The measures we’re announcing today will help to tackle the pay gap head-on. We will support women to move out of low paid, low skilled work, into high paid, high skilled work, through providing better training and mentoring.” She added that: “We will also give both women and employers the tools to assess and address unfair pay.”

The measure will hopefully make it far easier for female employees, as well as the employers themselves, to identify pay gaps and issues with pay within their company, and also it will make it easier for them to bring the issue up with their bosses.