Thank you for contacting me about the Gender Pay Gap.
The gender pay gap is the difference in the average hourly wage of all men and women across a workforce. If women do more of the lower-paid jobs within an organisation than men, the gender pay gap is usually bigger. In 2017, ground-breaking regulations were introduced, requiring large employers to publish their gender pay gaps annually.
There have been two successful years of reporting so far, with over 10,000 employers publishing their data each year. Greater transparency, thanks to mandatory reporting, is motivating employers to identify barriers to women’s progression in the workplace and put pressure on them to take action to address them. Reporting gender pay gap data is an important step, but what matters now is that employers take action. The Government Equalities Office is supporting employers to reduce their gaps and has published guidance on how to diagnose the causes of a gap and how to create an effective action plan.
Nevertheless, progress is still slow and I am keen to see employers across the South West adopt the policies we know support gender equality. Shared parental leave, the free childcare offering, and returners programmes are some of the ways women can be supported in the workplace. The Government also rightly wants to see flexible working as default unless employers have good reason not to.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.