As pay gap widens EOC calls for a modern approach to equal pay

As new statistics revealing a widening pay gap between men and women are published, the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) has called on the government to adopt a modern approach to equal pay legislation.

The EOC appealed to the government to speed up its measures to close the pay gap, just as  the consultation on the green paper setting out proposals for a Single Equality Bill ended this week. The EOC has asked the government to give employers ‘breathing space’ to take effective action against any pay gaps by protecting them from individual equal pay cases for a limited period. The EOC said there has been a rise in the number of individual employment tribunal cases which it said are ‘slow, cumbersome and complex’.

The EOC’s appeal comes as figures from the National Management Salary Survey published by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and Remuneration Economics show that in real terms, female managers earned an average of £43,571 last year, which is £6,076 less than the male equivalent of £49,647. The pay gap has increased, with the 12.2% difference up from 11.8% last year.

The CMI research, in which more than 42,000 managers and senior executives were questioned, also found that although pay rises for women have stalled for first time in more than a decade and women (63.4%) are more likely to receive one-off bonus payments than men (55.9%). However, bonuses are only worth 10.2% of total female income, compared to 13.8% for men.