Hi there, I’ve been thinking about this hot potato for sometime! The gender pay gap has been a thorny issue which has prominently targeted women and employees of a minority group for quite some time, so why is it still an issue in 2023? 

The current gender pay gap currently stands at 14.9% on average. Shockingly, an analysis conducted by TUC found that this pay gap means that working women “work for free for nearly two months of the year compared to the average man in paid employment”.

With the gap further widening after having children, these statistics open the discussion of what can employers and the government do to close the disproportion.

So what is the government proposing?

The government is leading the way to promote the disclosure of salary information to decrease the gender pay gap. Last year, Minister for Women Baroness Stedman-Scott launched a pilot initiative in a bid to seek greater improvements in pay transparency.

By ensuring that employers are detailing salaries during the application process, the legislation aims to close salary gaps and tackle pay inequality.

The government is leading the way with the initiative, where participating employers will need to list salary details on job adverts as well as discontinuing the tradition of asking candidates about their salary history during the recruitment process.

Are jobseekers in favour of pay transparency?

According to data, jobseekers place a strong emphasis on salary when looking for their next career move. In a Glassdoor survey, 67% of people said that salary was the most important factor of a job advert.

This shows that sharing salary information at the beginning of the application process could be beneficial to employers who are hoping to attract talent.

Whilst jobseekers are prioritising pay packets, it’s worth noting that many employers do not have agreed pay scales and factor in a ‘dependent on experience’ range instead of standardised salaries across a job role.

This could be where it gets tricky for employers to disclose pay information on job advertisements.

Thankfully, the pay transparency legislation pilot will enable the government to work with employers so that they can provide pay information at the recruitment stage.  It will also remove their need for questions about salary history during the interview stage.

Does pay transparency promote equal pay? 

Whilst it’s still early days for data surrounding the effectiveness for pay transparency on a global level, the IES reviewed the Equality and Human Rights Commission and found significant evidence that greater pay transparency promotes fairer pay systems. 

Not only was this shown in the review, but also that it contributes to reducing unjustified disparities in pay that are evident for women, ethnic minorities and the disabled.

It’s worth mentioning that many employers forbid employees to discuss pay with each other, but one thing that we know for sure in any office is that employees talk amongst themselves about their role, their pay, and their lives, regardless of company policy. 

If employees realise that there is a disparity between their pay, it’s only natural that questions will be asked. 

Any thoughts welcomed!