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New legislation comes to help fight the gender pay gap

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New legislation comes to help fight the gender pay gap

Companies from the UK with more than 250 employees must share their gender pay gap data before April 2018. Francisca Silva reports

As large organisations including the BBC and the Bank of England reveal how big their gender pay gaps are, people start to become more aware of the gap itself, leading them to pressure businesses to release their data reports.

Around 9000 firms will have to calculate and publish their gender pay gap (including bonuses) on a government website by 4 April 2018. This new legal requirement was created to encourage employees to address these types of situations. “I’m earning 15,000 less than the last person on my position, which was a man,” says an employee at one of the UK’s biggest builder’s companies.

According to a study made by the Institute of Fiscal Studies, by the time a couple’s first child is aged 20, many mothers earn nearly a third less than the fathers. This was down to mothers of young children who had to go part-time during their motherhood.

The report revealed that when recent mothers start working part-time, they miss out on the benefits of full-time employment. “The effect of part-time work in shutting down wage progression is especially striking, whereas, in general, people in paid work see their pay rise year on year as they gain more experience, our new research shows that part-time workers miss out on these gains”, the report added.

This doesn’t mean the pay gap didn’t exist before. IFS have said that women were paid on average 10% less than men, even before they had their first child.

Robert Joyce, the co-author of the report, says that the new legislation which requires UK companies with more than 250 staff members to publish their gender pay gaps “could be part of the solution,” as many women could still not be aware that men have a bigger salary than them.

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