Background to the gender pay gap and women on boards
Background to the gender pay gap and women on boards

The following Employment guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Background to the gender pay gap and women on boards
  • The gender pay gap: what it is and how it is measured
  • Causes of the gender pay gap
  • Existing legislative measures
  • Equal pay legislation
  • Protection of certain discussions about pay
  • Tribunal ordered equal pay audits
  • Protection against discrimination, victimisation and harassment
  • Limited forms of positive discrimination
  • Legislation relating to part-time working, requests to work flexibly and various types of family leave
  • more

The government has stated that tackling the gender pay gap is a priority and that its goal is to 'end the gender pay gap in a generation'. It has brought into force regulations to require organisations with 250 or more employees to publish the difference between the average pay of their male and female employees to improve pay transparency. The former Prime Minster stated this will 'cast sunlight on the discrepancies and create the pressure we need for change, driving women's wages up'.

While the gender pay gap reporting obligation is a relatively recent development, the existence of the gender pay gap and its recognition as an important issue to be addressed is far from new. This Practice Note explains:

  1. what is meant by the gender pay gap and how it is measured (see: below)

  2. causes of the gender pay gap (see: below)

  3. existing legislative measures to tackle the gender pay gap, eg under the Equality Act 2010 (EqA 2010) and provisions relating to family leave (see: below)

  4. existing non-legislative measures to tackle the gender pay gap, eg the 'Think, Act, Report' initiative, the work of the Davies Review, and the voluntary code of conduct for executive search firms (see: below)

See the separate Practice Note: Gender pay gap reporting for details of:

  1. the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017, SI