In an attempt to reduce the gender pay gap the government have stated that all companies with 250 or more staff will be required to publish their gender pay gaps within a year. The gender pay gap refers to the difference in average pay between men and woman, which the Office for National Statistics works out using median hourly earnings figures for UK employees.
A deadline of April 2018 has been set for organisations to comply, if they fail to do so they will be contacted by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission.
If a company realises that they have a gender pay gap they will be encouraged to publish an action plan alongside the figures detailing the steps they plan to take to address the problem.
Some commentators have said that the move could be counter productive and have argued the pay gap exists because women are expected to take more time out of work after they have a family which interrupts their career and some may return to work part-time. This creates a motherhood pay gap rather than a gender pay gap. This gap may be reduced with more men taking shared paternity leave and so having a break in their own careers.