In 2015, former Prime Minister David Cameron introduced the ‘Equal Pay Act’. After stating “opportunity is nothing without equality”, Cameron announced steps to remove barriers and encourage success in the workplace. He worked with Women and Equalities Minister Nicky Morgan, to end the gender pay gap for a generation.
So why, in 2017, is there still a wage gap between men and women?
The pay gap has been shrinking, with the gap between men and women working full-time currently standing at 9.4%.
However, the overall pay gap (including full and part-time jobs) has women earning 18.1% less than men. This is according to a report by the PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers). They have stated that it will take another two years for the gap to begin to close.
Yong Jing Teow, an econoist at PwC has said if the pay gap is closed “we could boost women’s earnings by £85bn, which is an average of £6,100 per woman per year.”
2016 did see the narrowest pay gap on record but it was still evident women were not treated equally to men when it came to payslips. Since 2012, the pay gap has only dropped by 0.1%, meaning that while more women are working, they are not getting paid properly as much as their male counterparts.
Under the Equal Pay Act it is illegal to pay men and women differently if they are doing the same job. Under this act Cameron intended on forcing companies to disclose how salaries differ with male and female staff. This was supposed to have been displayed last year but has been pushed back to 2018.
Over 250 companies will be forced to display how much more men are paid. In 2016 the average gap found for every £1 earned by a man, a women earned 80p. This was often attributed to more women working part-time as 59% of part-time employees were female.
Women who are over 30 tend to find the wage gap increasing compared with younger women. A report into wage gaps found for women in their 20s, the gap, was almost half that of women over 35.
These older women have to experience a near 30% difference in the pay gap.
While current Prime Minister Theresa May has vowed to continue the former PMs work to eliminate the wage gap, it is still an incredibly slow process which is failing to help women in need.