Government refuses to change gender pay gap rules


Calls to force law firms, accountants and other partnerships to reveal gender pay gaps have been snubbed by the government, causing upset among MPs and campaigners who had sought to strengthen existing regulations. The government said on Thursday said that it would not change gender pay gap reporting for five years in spite of a recommendation by the Commons Treasury select committee for the law to be extended to equity partners and company subsidiaries with fewer than 250 employees.

WOB's Fiona Hathorn comments.

A number of accounting and law firms did not include well-paid, often male partners in their reporting of the pay gap, in a move that flattered their figures. Most have since started to disclose the numbers in response to upset among their employees and the pressure from politicians. Ministers said that the new regulations were “still in their infancy” and will be reviewed in just under half a decade.

Fiona Hathorn, managing director of Women on Boards UK, a networking organisation, labelled the government decision “ridiculous” and urged the government to create a “level data . . . playing field”. “Data quality matters but it would seem the government does not agree, having decided to allow organisations to ‘officially’ not disclose the pay of all their workers,” she said. “Companies can now wilfully choose not to include the pay of partners and or the pay of employees who happen to work for a subsidiary,” she said.
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