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13 June 2018

Treasury Committee calls for action to abolish 'alpha male' culture

The Treasury Committee has published a unanimously-agreed report calling for the reform of bonus negotiations and promotion of flexible working to abolish 'alpha-male' culture in finance and encourage the progression of women to senior levels.
The Committee’s key recommendations are:
  • Assess bonuses against clear criteria to abolish 'alpha-male' culture
  • Remove stigma of flexible working by senior men leading by example
  • Encourage firms to publish strategies for closing gender pay gaps
  • Partners and subsidiaries should not be exempt from gender pay gap reporting
  • Firms should re-examine recruitment and promotion policies to eliminate unconscious bias, which will avoid potential applicants being deterred and avoid groupthink
You can find the report and a summary here.

3 April 2018

The Fourth Biennial Fairness at Work Conference 'Justice at Work: Challenges and Possibilities’

Call for Papers

10th & 11th September 2018 SUBMISSION DEADLINE 20TH APRIL 2018

Building on the three previous Fairness at Work Conferences at the University of Manchester (in 2012, 2014, and 2016), the 2018 conference aims to bring together academics and practitioners to discuss strategic issues on the subject of justice and fairness at work. 

The last two years have seen a major shift in the political environment and an emergence of a politics of national insularity. Yet at the same time major strides have been made in raising awareness and support for living wage campaigns and improving workplace justice. 

The conference aims to discuss developments in our understandings of the impact of technological changes (e.g. the gig economy), the changing experiences of work amongst groups of vulnerable workers (e.g. younger workers), the impact of an increasingly hostile context on notions of justice and fairness at the workplace (e.g. a greater challenge to minority rights) and the responses and roles of trade unions and other civil society organisations in dealing with such challenges.

The conference is being held in Manchester at the same time as the 150th Annual Conference of the UK’s Trade Unions Congress and will organise sessions linked to the TUC conference themes, with invited speakers and activities focused on the future of trade unions and worker regulation and rights.  The TUC was founded in Manchester in 1868 and the WEI Fairness at Work conference will include social and cultural activities linked to the labour history and struggles for equality of the city.

Papers are invited on these developments in the areas of fair treatment at work, diversity and equality, stress and well being, dignity at work, employment regulation, worker participation, trade unionism, technology and work, and key elements of employment relations such as pay, pensions and working time.

Venue: The University of Manchester - Cost: £200 Waged (£50 unwaged):
includes all food and drink plus the conference dinner

Please Send 500 word abstracts or 1000 word for sessions  BY 20TH APRIL 2018 to

The Work & Equalities Institute brings together the European Work and Employment Research Centre and Fairness at Work Research Centre with expertise across human resource management, industrial relations, labour economics, organisational psychology, and employment law. The team has a track record, built over more than twenty five years, of informing the evidence-base and policy agenda of the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the United Nations’ International Labour Organisation, as well as national organisations such as the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and others. WEI’s research is being used in knowledge exchange, dialogue and debate with key stakeholders and policy makers, and makes informed contributions to policy formation and practice.

2 April 2018

Consumers ready to switch banks over gender pay gaps

Over half of women and 37 per cent of men would consider ditching their bank if they find it has a large gender pay gap.

All well and good, but where should we go?

MPS launch Pay Me More Campaign

A group of female politicians, led by Labour MP Stella Creasy, have started an online campaign #PayMeToo in a bid to advise women on how to tackle the gender pay gap at work.

The initiative has been launched ahead of Wednesday's deadline for gender pay gap reporting whereby all private companies in the UK with more than 250 employees, must publish data detailing the difference in hourly pay between male and female staff members. Employers must also make details on staff bonuses public knowledge.

It encourages women to speak to their colleagues and bosses about the need to tackle gender pay gaps, and advises that they join a trade union and set up a women’s network at work. The cross-party initiative is also asking female employees to complete and share the #PayMeToo survey, in an effort to help inform future parliamentary debates.

The campaign is backed by Labour MPs Jess Phillips and Lucy Powell; Conservative MP Nicky Morgan, who chairs the Treasury Select Committee; the Liberal Democrats’ Jo Swinson, Christine Jardine and Layla Moran; SNP MP Hannah Bardell and Plaid Cymru’s Liz Saville Roberts.

The #PayMeMore campaign has an accompanying website (which I've been unable to find!) offering go-to support to women in the workplace. Via the site, employees can access vital information on the pay gap evident in their own place of work.

Equality and Human Rights Commission publishes its strategy for enforcing gender pay gap reporting

The Equality and Human Rights Commission aims in the first instance, to resolve non-compliance through correspondence with non-compliant employers. Where formal enforcement action is required, the Commission will take action as set out below.

The Commission will take a staged approach to enforcement by dividing employers by industry and initiating enforcement action against them in tranches. In order to ensure fairness and promote compliance, each tranche will comprise employers selected at random from within that industry, meaning that it will not be possible for a particular employer to predict when they will be selected for enforcement.

In 2018/19, the Commission aims to initiate enforcement action against all employers who have not reported their pay gap data.

Employers who submit data that has not been calculated in accordance with the gender pay gap reporting regulations will be in breach of the regulations and subject to enforcement action in the same way as those who publish no data at all. While the Equality and Human Rights Commission initially intends to drive up reporting by focusing on employers who do not publish any data, it has the means to identify employers who submit statistically improbable data and will consider taking action against them.

If a private or voluntary sector employer does not comply after the Commission's initial correspondence, it will carry out an investigation into whether they have committed the suspected unlawful act, that is, a breach of the gender pay gap reporting regulations.

A similar process will apply to public sector organisations.

You can find the detail of the Commission's enforcement powers, together with indicative timescales for action, here.

23 March 2018

MPs to investigate gender pay gap reporting

Amid fears that employers are not going to comply with the gender pay gap reporting regulations, the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee (BEIS), headed by Rachel Reeves MP, is to conduct a short inquiry into aspects of pay in the private sector.

The inquiry's remit will be:

      • To examine the compliance by business with reporting requirements on the gender pay gap and to consider what steps they are taking to address the gap;

      • To consider the implementation of the recommendations on executive pay by the previous Committee in its 2017 report on Corporate Governance and recent developments on executive pay;

      • To examine the effectiveness of Remuneration Committees and institutional investors in combatting excessive executive pay

The inquiry will initially focus on the gender pay gap and the Committee invites written submissions on this topic.
You can find out more here.

New analysis of the gender pay gap published by the TUC

A new analysis of official statistics published by the TUC shows that the gender pay gap is at its widest when a woman hits 50, when the average woman working full-time will earn £8,421 a year less than the average full-time working man.

The research – published in advance of the gender pay reporting deadline on Wednesday 4 April – shows that women working full-time earn less than men annually at every stage of their careers.

Young women: The average young woman aged 18-21 working full-time starts her career on the back foot financially, earning £1,845 less than her male peers. And this pay gap is only set to increase. Women aged 22-29 working full-time can expect to earn £2,305 less than full-time working men their age.

Women in their 40s: The gap in annual earnings more than doubles by the time women hit 40, leaping up from £3,670 a year at age 30 to £7,400 a year. The TUC believes this reflects the impact of motherhood on women’s earnings, when women find they are only able to return to work in lower-paid roles or cannot progress their careers after having moved to part-time employment.

Women in their 50s: The pay gap widens further for women in their 50s, hitting £8,421 a year, as the longer-term impacts of getting stuck in lower paid work with few promotion prospects are felt and caring responsibilities – including for older relatives – continue to have an effect.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Women suffer a huge pay penalty over the course of their lives, starting as soon as they set foot on the career ladder. A good first step for women worried about their pay is to join a union.”

To address the gender pay gap the TUC is calling on the government to:

1. Toughen up gender pay gap reporting: by increasing resources for enforcement, introducing immediate fines for non-compliance and requiring employers to publish action plans alongside their figures. Smaller employers should also be required to report.

2. End the motherhood pay penalty: by tackling pregnancy discrimination, giving dads better opportunities to share parental leave and working with employers to create more well-paid part-time jobs.

3. Improve pay for “women’s work”: through investing in key sectors like social and nursery care where many important jobs are done by women. 

4. End discriminatory pay: through mandatory equal pay audits.