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UK firms take action on gender pay gap

11 July 2018

UK firms take action on gender pay gapAlmost six in ten UK employers are taking significant steps to tackle the gender pay gap according to new research.

Willis Towers Watson has polled 1,949 worldwide employers and found that 58% of UK employers are taking gender pay equality into account when making decisions about base pay. This compares to 23% globally.

Half (51%) of the UK firms surveyed said they had recently checked that they are meeting their equal pay obligations; a further 29% are planning to do so in the near future.

The findings also show that:

  • 93% of all respondents have either taken steps this year to promote flexible working arrangements or have plans to do so;
  • 47% plan to review their recruitment and promotion processes to reduce conscious and unconscious bias and meet equal pay obligations;
  • 87% are increasing activities to promote an inclusive culture.

"The many debates that we are having in the UK around fairness are being reflected in the workplace," said Tamsin Sridhara, UK leader, rewards and talent at Willis Towers Watson. "Employees want to know they are being paid fairly and have the same chances for promotion. The gender pay gap reporting requirements raised lots of questions for employees and in boardrooms. As a result, we are seeing leading UK employers committed to doing more and leading the way for global peers."

Hazel Rees, director of the UK executive compensation team at Willis Towers Watson, said: "The pressure on companies to do more to promote fair pay and diverse talent in the workplace is not going to go away. The new disclosure requirements on ceo pay ratios will reflect another dimension of fairness in the workplace. Likewise, the predicted changes to the UK Governance Code will stress the importance of a diverse pipeline into senior roles and give employees a greater voice."

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