Publishing the gender pay gap: why are companies panicking?

Employers alarmed ahead of pay and bonuses transparency ruling

Despite the introduction of the equal pay act in 1970, women in Britain are still paid an average of 19% less than men in Britain.

In a bid to tackle the continuing discrepancy, the government is forcing large employers to publish the gap in pay between their male and female employees.

The move also includes how much employees take home in the form of bonuses – an area that has been highlighted as one in which pay differences are particularly large.

The ruling will also apply to public sector bodies with more than 250 employees, when the rules come into force next year.

But many companies are not especially excited about publishing their pay data, with some bracing themselves for a rash of law suits from female employees.

According to a survey by law firm Eversheds, 26% of HR managers are concerned about equal pay litigation risks. Meanwhile, almost half (48%) are worried about the administrative cost of dealing with the ruling, while over a quarter (27%), said their biggest concern was addressing the pay gap itself.

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