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The fight against the gender pay gap starts


#PayMeToo, gender pay gap reporting, action, female MPs, women at workYou can hold your employer to account for what they are doing.

By midnight 4 April 2018 every company with more than 250 employees will have had to report the details of their gender pay gap statistics – the difference between what men and women earn throughout their organisation – and why – and see the difference in pay between men and women, and find out what proportion of the highest-paid staff members are women.

The gender pay gap shows the difference in the average pay between all men and women in a workforce.

If a workforce has a particularly high gender pay gap, this can indicate there may a number of issues to deal with, and the individual calculations may help to identify what those issues are.

It is not to be mistaken for equal pay, which deals with the pay differences between men and women who carry out the same jobs, similar jobs or work of equal value. It is unlawful to pay people unequally because they are a man or a woman.

At Coast, for example, the Guardian reported, the median hourly pay rate for women is 40 per cent lower than for men; the bonuses paid to women working for West Coast Trains are 64 per cent lower than those paid to men; at Goldman Sachs women’s bonuses are 67 per cent lower than men’s; and at JP Morgan, only 9 per cent of the best-paid employees are women.

Employers have been warned by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) that if they don’t provide this information they could face hefty fines for failure to comply.

If you want to know what the data shows for your company, look for the info here.

And a cross-party group of female MPs has launched a campaign to support women who lobby their bosses to end gender pay discrepancies in their companies.

Their #PayMeToo campaign, led by Labour MP Stella Creasy and backed by female MPs from the other main political parties, aims to encourage women to speak to their colleagues and bosses about the need to tackle gender pay gaps.

#PayMeToo points out that Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights guarantees employees freedom of expression in the workplace, and so you have the right to discuss these issues at work and with colleagues as well as to raise them with your manager so you can hold your employer to account for what they are doing to tackle this gap.

And Section 77 of the Equality Act 2010 specifically says that any part of an employment contract which seeks to stop you from talking about pay in order to work out if you – or a colleague – is experiencing pay discrimination is  not enforceable; it is not legal, so should not even be in your contract.

If you are a member of a trade union, any attempt to restrict your right to express an opinion on these issues may also contradict your rights as set out under sections 146 and 152 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.

#PayMeToo also suggests what you can do to end the gender pay gap:

Talk to your co-workers about pay – find out what they earn;

Talk to your manager: ask to see your employer’s action plan to address the gender pay gap in your work place;

Join a union;

Or if you are in a union, talk to your union reps about what they are doing on pay equality;

Take the issue to your Women’s Network if you have one;

If you don’t have one, start one.

And share your experiences through the #paymetoo survey. It is anonymous and will help inform debates on parliament about how to address these issues.

Now is a good time to do this: fight to end the gender pay gap.

Click here for more ideas about what to do.

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