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Large UK firms to be required to reveal gender pay gap

LARGE BUSINESSES will soon be required to publish average pay for male and female workers under a new law established by parliament.

David Cameron will announce the measure today as he pledges to “end the gender pay gap in a generation”.

Chancellor George Osborne announced in last week’s Budget a new national living wage which will take the rate for over-25s up to £9 an hour by 2020, a move said to help women who tend to be in lower-paid jobs.

Cameron admits there is a “need to go further” and hopes the laws on reporting pay “will cast sunlight on the discrepancies and create the pressure we need for change, driving women’s wages up”.

The gender pay gap is currently at 19.1%, which means a woman earns on average 80p for every £1 earned by a man.

In the UK, there is an average of 7,000 large businesses with over 250 employees; only 5 of these have published gender pay figures under a voluntary approach.

The policy is expected to come into force in the first half of next year and applies to all UK firms with more than 250 employees.

Kate Andrews from free-market institute the Adam Smith Institute told City AM: “Education, previous experiences, negotiating tactics, and unique ability all contribute to one’s salary, none of which can be known by comparing John and Jane’s annual take home pay on a spreadsheet.”

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