UK government refuses to expand gender pay reporting UK government refuses to expand gender pay reporting

UK government refuses to expand gender pay reporting
20 Sep 2018

Calls to force law firms, accountants and other partnerships to reveal their gender pay gaps have been rejected by the UK government. 

Ministers said that gender pay gap reporting would not be changed for five years, in spite of a recommendation by the Commons Treasury select committee that the law should be extended to equity partners and company subsidiaries with fewer than 250 employees.

A number of accounting and law firms did not include well-paid, often male partners in their reporting of the pay gap, artificially improving their figures. Most have since started to disclose the numbers in response to upset among their employees and the pressure from politicians, according to the FT.

But in a joint response to the report’s recommendations, John Glen, economic secretary to the Treasury, and Victoria Atkins, minister for women, said: "The legislation itself is groundbreaking, with no other country asking for this level of transparency, although we will review it in five years."

They added: "The government believes that this is an adequate timeframe after which we will be able to properly evaluate the regulations and their impact."

However, Nicky Morgan, chair of the Treasury Committee, said: "These exemptions could impact the trends emerging from the reporting data and the conclusions drawn. Whilst it is pleasing to see some employers already taking the initiative, its disappointing that the government will not consider amending the gender pay gap reporting regulations for five years."

Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI director-general, has also called on the government to reinstate Section 40 of the Equalities Act 2010 and make employers accountable for third-party harassment at work. In the original version of the Act, employers were held responsible if a third party harassed someone in their employment, and if they 'failed to take such steps as would have been reasonably practicable to prevent the third party from doing so'.

This clause was repealed in 2013 as part of the government’s 'bonfire of red tape'.

 

Source: FT

Calls to force law firms, accountants and other partnerships to reveal their gender pay gaps have been rejected by the UK government. 

Ministers said that gender pay gap reporting would not be changed for five years, in spite of a recommendation by the Commons Treasury select committee that the law should be extended to equity partners and company subsidiaries with fewer than 250 employees.

A number of accounting and law firms did not include well-paid, often male partners in their reporting of the pay gap, artificially improving their figures. Most have since started to disclose the numbers in response to upset among their employees and the pressure from politicians, according to the FT.

But in a joint response to the report’s recommendations, John Glen, economic secretary to the Treasury, and Victoria Atkins, minister for women, said: "The legislation itself is groundbreaking, with no other country asking for this level of transparency, although we will review it in five years."

They added: "The government believes that this is an adequate timeframe after which we will be able to properly evaluate the regulations and their impact."

However, Nicky Morgan, chair of the Treasury Committee, said: "These exemptions could impact the trends emerging from the reporting data and the conclusions drawn. Whilst it is pleasing to see some employers already taking the initiative, its disappointing that the government will not consider amending the gender pay gap reporting regulations for five years."

Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI director-general, has also called on the government to reinstate Section 40 of the Equalities Act 2010 and make employers accountable for third-party harassment at work. In the original version of the Act, employers were held responsible if a third party harassed someone in their employment, and if they 'failed to take such steps as would have been reasonably practicable to prevent the third party from doing so'.

This clause was repealed in 2013 as part of the government’s 'bonfire of red tape'.

 

Source: FT

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