Employment law specialist solicitors serving Dundee and Scotland
A study from HMRC and a number of law firms has revealed that the number of high female earners has not changed in the last four years despite many attempts to reduce the gender pay gap.
Figures from HM Revenue & Customs showed that women accounted for 27% of all higher-rate taxpayers in each of the past four financial years meaning that women made up 1.21m of the 4.47m higher-rate taxpayers. This number remained the same despite a rise of about one million high earners in the last year.
Many experts have stated that while the number of high earners in the UK has grown, the gender gap between male and female workers has played a part for the same percentage of high female earners. In 2015, despite a number of goals to reduce the gender wage gap, the gap decreased by a mere 0.2%. Currently, the gender gap sits at 9.4%.
There have been a number of initiatives of late that have aimed to try and reduce the gender pay gap and encourage more women to work in senior, high-paid positions. A number of banks aimed to put more emphasis on hiring females for senior roles after it was revealed that they amounted for under a third of all senior positions. HSBC aimed to have an equal split between males and females on their board with Lloyds bank striving for at least 40% of all senior management staff to be female by the end of the decade.
As well as this, the government aimed to create policy to combat the gender pay gap by announcing that they were going to make it compulsory for UK organisations with 250 employees or more to publish the difference between the average pay of their male and female employees. The rules, which are expected to come into force in in October 2016, also expect companies to divulge bonuses and will cover employers in the public, private and voluntary sector.
This year, Lord Davies unveiled a new target for a third of all board seats at Britain’s biggest companies to be held by women by 2020 after his previous aim of 25% by 2015 was hit.
Despite some stating that the latest targets and legislation are a step in the right direction, for many, they did not do enough to target the gender pay gap across the board. Many criticised the fact that the initiatives were targeted at high-end employment but not at workers in lower levels of employment who are arguably in need of more support.
Charles Urquhart an employment solicitor who collected and analysed the data from HMRC said: “For gender pay reporting to be valuable, a like-for-like comparison across all levels within an organisation, from the CEO to unskilled levels of employee, would be needed."
If you have been overlooked for a promotion, discriminated against in the workplace due to your gender, age or race or mistreated for taking maternity leave you could be entitled to compensation. To find out if you could make a claim, get in touch with our team of experts today using our online contact form.