Although from the title of this article you may believe that 'Equal Pay Day' sounds like a day to be celebrated, it is actually the day on which men (on average) have already earned what a woman will earn (on average) in a year. From the 9th November 2015 until the 31st December 2015, women throughout the UK are effectively working for free.
Figures released from the Office for National Statistics state that the average hourly pay of a full-time female worker is £14.39 per hour, whereas the average hourly pay of a full-time man is £16.77.
Protests for equal pay between men and woman have been carried out in the United Kingdom since the 1960's, yet no real changes have been made and the pay gap has even increased in recent years.
However, on the 25th October 2015, David Cameron announced that barriers need to be removed and equality needs to be improved in the workplace. The government did introduce plans to force larger companies to report on their bonus information, as this appeared to be where the largest gaps appeared, along with other plans.
The sudden attention given to the gender pay gap may have been due to the non-legislative resolution passed by the European Parliament on the 8th October 2015. It was decided that there was a need for EU level sanctions to be introduced. MEPs suggested that mandatory pay audits be required for large stock exchange listed companies and sanctions in cases of non-compliance.
Although this is a positive step forward, the United Kingdom will have to wait to see whether this makes any real long term improvements. However, the Guardian released an article on the 18th November 2015 which states that it may be another 118 years before women can expect equal pay due to the slow pace of reforms around the world.
This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.At Gepp & Sons Solicitors we can advise on all aspects of employment law. For more information and guidance, please contact Alexandra Dean on 01245 228141 or email firstname.lastname@example.org