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Right Honourables Call For An Honourable Thing

03 November 2017 | Updated 01 January 1970

As the Prime Minister oversees sleaze in Parliament (including the ex-Defence Secretary the 'Right Honourable' Michael Fallon resigning from his post but not as an MP), she has also  announced a new drive to improve workplace equality – calling on more companies to report their gender pay gap and take action to close it.

Sodexo, the world’s largest services company, has published its UK gender pay gap to become an early adopter of new Government legislation.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The gender pay gap will continue closing at a snail’s pace unless the government comes down much harder on employers.


For results of the ONS survey Click Here


New figures published by the ONS show the UK’s overall gender pay gap rising marginally to 18.4% but the gap for full-time workers falling to a record low – from 9.4% in 2016 to 9.1% in 2017.


To close the gender pay gap further, the Prime Minister is calling on companies to:

  • improve the pipeline to ensure progress on female representation at senior levels, including supporting women to progress to middle management and offering return to work schemes.
  • publish their gender pay gap data, including companies with fewer than 250 employees.
  • make flexible working a reality for all employees by advertising all jobs as flexible from Day 1, unless there are solid business reasons not to.

As part of the commitment to drive forward workplace equality, the Women’s Business Council which the Prime Minister established as Home Secretary in 2012, will be advising her on progress and good practice in business. The council will also be providing recommendations in key areas including middle management, flexible working, working parents and return-to-work schemes.

The Prime Minister said: "Already many of the UK’s top companies are leading the way in making sure everyone’s contributions to the workplace are valued equally. But the gender pay gap isn’t going to close on its own – we all need to be taking sustained action to make sure we address this. We need to see a real step-change in the number of companies publishing their gender pay data and offering progression and flexibility for all employees."

The government introduced a legal requirement for all employers with over 250 employees to publish their gender pay and bonus data by April 2018.


Sodexo becomes gender pay gap early adopter

Sodexo has published its UK gender pay gap to become an early adopter of new Government legislation.

The Government Equalities Office methodology requires organisations to share mean and median figures for differences in average hourly pay and bonus pay for men and women, in addition to the proportion receiving a bonus. Sodexo’s overall average hourly median gender pay gap is 12.6 per cent and the mean gender pay gap is 14.9 per cent.

The gender split in four quartiles of the pay scale must also be published.

A clear commitment to gender balance has seen Sodexo included in The Times Top 50 Employers for Women for the last four years.

Andy Rogers, Sodexo UK & Ireland HR director, said:  “At Sodexo we believe achieving gender balance is not only the right thing to do, it also enables people and our business to perform better. This belief is supported by global internal research which found our own gender-balanced management teams outperform those that are not across a number of key performance indicators."


Gender pay gap will close at a snail’s pace without tougher government action, says TUC

Commenting on the gender pay gap, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The gender pay gap will continue closing at a snail’s pace unless the government comes down much harder on employers. This announcement is a damp squib that will have little impact. Companies should be forced to publish their pay gaps – not merely encouraged.

“Real action would be fining businesses who do not share information on what men and women are paid. And making firms explain what steps they are taking to close their pay gaps.”


Minister for Women and Equalities

Minister for Women and Equalities Justine Greening said: "It is simply good business sense to recognise the enormous potential of women and to take action to nurture and progress female talent.

That is why we have introduced a legal requirement for all large employers to publish their gender pay and bonus data by April 2018. Employers now need to get on with publishing their pay gap. By shining a light on where there are gaps, they can take action and make sure that we are harnessing the talents and skills of men and women‎."

Picture: Prime Minister Theresa May has called on companies to take steps to improve workplace equality and the gender pay gap

Article written by Cathryn Ellis | Published 03 November 2017


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