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Single Equality Bill: Employers Must Give Salary Comparisons

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 15 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Single Equality Bill Women Equality

The issue of men being paid more than women for the doing the same job is often raised but rarely addressed. Now there is a Single Equality Bill launched by the government with the aim to combat this pay gap.

There are many excuses that companies use as to why men often get paid more, but this bill will hopefully open up the secrecy and allow women to compete equally with their male colleagues.

It will be a few years before the bill applies across the workforce but it is a step in the right direction for fair and equal pay.

What is it?

The Single Equality Bill is an initiative that has been launched by the government to increase equality in the workplace. It aims to strengthen and streamline the law by forcing companies to be more open and equal about who they employ and what they pay them. It not only applies to women in the workplace but also has provisions in place to stop discrimination on the base of race, sexuality or age.

What Does it Mean for Women at Work?

What the Single Equality Bill means for women at work is that companies must be more open about how much they pay their employees.

This is to try and combat the pay gap between men and women where men are often paid more for doing the same job. The new rules will apply to public sector employers first with plans to extend it to private companies in 2013. Companies will be required to produce gender pay reports so they can be monitored.

Why Do Men Often Get Paid More?

There are a number of reasons why men many end up earning more than women. Often women have been out of the workplace to raise children or are working part time or flexible hours. This can be an excuse for employers to pay less. Also, men are often better about selling themselves and asking for a pay rise. Another reason can be that many companies are run by men and favour them unfairly.

What Can I Do About it?

The Single Equality Bill will also put a ban on secrecy clauses so that colleagues, if they want, can discuss their salaries. Although still a difficult subject, this may make it easier to find out what others are being paid for your role.

Companies will be required to release information on pay but this won’t apply to the private sector until 2013. Until then, women need to be forthright in asking for more money, and making sure that they are paid what they are worth.

The Single Eqaulity Bill aims to strengthen discrimination laws so that everybody is on an equal footing at work. For women, it makes steps towards levelling out the pay gap and making companies accountable for differences in gender pay. The Bill will firstly apply to the public sector before coming into force in the private sector in 2013. Women need to be aware of gender pay parity and stand up for their rights to be paid equally.

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I disagree with the reasons given in regards to why men often get paid more than women as even if these did not exist women would still be paid less! Reasons are cultural! Why some women put up with it I really don't understand. This is of course only justified if you are delivering the same or better quality work as your male colleague! I have always delivered twice better than any of my colleagues including both male and female. It is completely irrelevant if an individual is male or female as long as you are delivering and adding same value! But I have witnessed myself that if male and female colleague are after the same job, male colleague will usually win which is UNFAIR! Women should not hold back and should complain to their employer when that happens, of course with all the required facts. When women speak out they are usually considered emotional and frustrated, but that is not the case. Taking into account what we go through we don't speak out enough!
Lorna - 14-Jan-12 @ 3:16 PM
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