Government Plan to Name and Shame 'Sexist' Companies

by Charlotte Cardingham
Posted by Hannah on 6 January 2009
Government Plan to Name and Shame 'Sexist' Companies

Ministers are considering plans to force companies into publishing in-depth details of their employee's salaries, ordered by gender.

In a move intended to eradicate the gender pay gap once and for all, the government is considering plans to shame companies into paying both male and female employees fairly.

Should the plans be approved, private companies will be required to publish annual figures specifying the number of male and female employees in each of their different pay grades. A 'pay inequalities' league table would then be developed from the results, designed to name and shame the companies with the largest gender pay gap.

Firms that top the table would be offered training from agencies and unions on making the workplace fairer for female employees, although this would be on an entirely voluntary basis and its implementation would not be monitored.

Surprisingly, the most recent gender pay figures released by the Office of National Statistics in November 2008 showed that the gender pay gap is actually widening. Their research also revealed that female employees working full time are paid an average 17.1% less than their male counterparts; this inequality rises to 36.6% for part time staff.

Speaking to the Guardian, deputy chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Lady Prosser welcomed the move saying:

"It's enough to give a good picture of which firms are lagging behind when it comes to equality. That's not a good image to have and those firms will just have to do something about if they don't want to be embarrassed."

Business leaders on the other hand have not been so receptive.  This is despite the plan being less complex, time consuming and potentially damaging as the compulsory pay audit system the government are considering as an alternative. The latter would require companies to directly compare the salaries of individual employees to those of their male counterparts, potentially leaving them open to sex discrimination law suits.

If approved, the 'league table' amendment looks set to be implemented early this year when the new equity bill comes into effect. Solicitor general and minister in charge of the bill, Vera Baird, has already shown support for the policy.

Source

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Your Comments

Canuck
on 17 Jan 2009 17:43
Canada too please. No more secrecy in companies. I'm tired of finding out the guys get more than me even though I do the exact same job as them.
 
Doctress Julia
on 16 Jan 2009 19:10
HOOORAY! Awesome. This is LONG overdue.
 
halelujah
on 7 Jan 2009 19:31
So when will this be implemented in the U.S? It is long overdue.
 
Figaro
on 7 Jan 2009 16:32
I think gender discrimination is wrong and we should seek remedies to address them fairly and openly. But I would not stop at unequal pay. I suggest they also investigate sexism on a broader scale, especiallyt the blatant sexism found daily in family courts. Paying women less then men for no valid reason is wrong. Awarding children to mothers more than fathers for no valid reason is equally wrong even more devastating upon children.
 
Linda
on 7 Jan 2009 15:18
I hope that this will become a new paradigm. I have seen too many women doing most of the work, working overtime, and receiving one quarter the pay of the men in the companies I've worked in. The cronies sat back and collected huge salaries and would not retire until well past 80 years of age, instead of allowing the next best person (whether it was male or female) to fill their shoes. So no promotions were even possible. Some of these women were divorced with children, having the extra burden to support themselves and their families for so much less pay. It was so unfair and maddening to work in this kind of backward climate. I look forward to seeing more awareness surrounding the issue of equal pay.
 
Linda
on 7 Jan 2009 15:15
I hope that this will become a new paradigm. I have seen too many women doing most of the work, working overtime, and receiving one quarter the pay of the men in the companies I've worked in. The cronies sat back and collected huge salaries and would not retire until well past 80 years of age, instead of allowing the next best person (whether it was male or female) to fill their shoes. So no promotions were even possible. Some of these women were divorced with children, having the extra burden to support themselves and their families for so much less pay. It was so unfair and maddening to work in this kind of backward climate. I look forward to seeing more awareness surrounding the issue of equal pay.
 
Frank
on 7 Jan 2009 13:21
I am by no means an expert on the matter but other things need to be considered. Has the person transfered, experience levels and time in position. It is the same for both men and women more experiance or schooling more pay. You need to look at more then just the gap you need to look at why?
 
mjaybee
on 7 Jan 2009 03:10
So much for meritocracy
 
Blah
on 6 Jan 2009 23:37
What is always left out about the "pay gap" is that women end up getting promoted about 4 times faster than men. Many studies have shown that women simply ask for less money and don't negotiate their pay. They're also willing to "take one of the team" more and do additional work simply because it needs to be done whereas men will usually say "I'm not paid to do this." This means women do more work for less pay and get rewarded with faster promotions. Men do less work for more pay but stay in the same positions longer. Trying to fix the "pay gap" while ignoring the "promotion gap" will end up giving women a huge advantage because they'll automatically get equal pay without negotiating for it while also being promoted faster.
 
Richard
on 6 Jan 2009 19:54
Great idea. When I was at Microsoft we were really good about hiring the best person for the job, and not the best guy for the job. We had fewer men than women in my group - but the company had a really good overall average.