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Only 4 firms publish gender pay gap information

A coalition scheme intended to encourage the publication of pay differences for male and female staff in top companies has been branded a “total flop” by shadow women and equalities minister Gloria De Piero.

Around 200 firms signed up to the voluntary scheme. However, only four have published their gender pay gaps, and only two have broken down this information into different pay grades. The scheme, titled “Think, Act, Report”, was launched nearly three years ago and was set to have a “ground breaking, voluntary approach”.

There have been calls for the scheme to be made compulsory for any company which employs more than 250 people, in order to improve transparency. Smaller firms would not be required to publish these figures in order to cut down on red tape. The Lib Dems intend to include this policy in their next election manifesto.

The median hourly pay for women was £10.33 in 2013, compared to £12.97 for men, equating to a 20% pay discrepancy, despite equal pay legislation being in force since the 1970s.

From 1 October 2014 employment tribunals will be obliged, in certain circumstances, to order employers to conduct equal pay audits where they are found to be in breach of the equal pay provisions contained in the Equality Act 2010.

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