Gender Pay Gap and Equal Pay Legislation Essay Sample

Exploring Gender Pay Gap and Equal Pay Legislation: Essay Insights

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Introduction Of Women’s work and the gender pay gap in the UK.

This essay will reflect Women’s Work and the gender pay gap in the UK. In this essay relevant information will be gathered related to the equal pay legislative regime sufficiently protecting women. The relevant legal information on the basis of the gender pay gap in the UK will be provided in this essay. In this essay, the ILAC method will be followed so that more information can be gathered regarding the present law for the workplace. The relevant law which is present in the UK related to this issue will be included in this essay. Appropriate theories and models will be included within this essay so that more relevant information regarding this topic can be acquired. The information related to this topic will be taken from the case references so that more knowledge can be acquired regarding the legal problems of women's work and the gender pay gap. The appropriate literature review will be followed so that the current scenario of this issue can be effectively evaluated. This will help to gather knowledge regarding the available law for minimizing the cases of gender equity within the working place.

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Issue

It has been found that women who faced employment prejudice and sexual harassment, and the gender wage gap distinctly focused in the essay. More activity is needed to fight unevenness at work despite the point that the foreword of gender pay gap reporting has facilitated more corporations to do so. From the year 1970, it has been against the law to differentiate against women in the workplace. With some recent high-profile charges, it is still a concern. Pregnancy and maternity discrimination, as well as sexual harassment, are also important issues.

Sexual harassment at work affects men as well, although it affects women significantly more frequently. According to a study, four out of ten women in the UK reported encountering unwelcome sexual activity at work (Azcona, et al. 2020). A little more than one in nine moms (11%) claimed they were forced to quit their jobs because of being fired, made compulsorily redundant (while others in their company weren't), or treated so terribly.

Based on the published current report, it has been found that this gap among full-time employees was more than eight percent in the year 2022 and the gap was approximately seven percent within the year 2021. In the year 2019, this gap was approximately nine percent. Based on the recommendations of National Statistics, it is required to evaluate the longer-term trend of this gap and it has been also found that this gap has declined from fourteen percent to fifteen percent in the year 2021 out of all employees.

Several reasons are present for this gap such as societal, educational, cultural, and economic factors. Such as limited opportunities for flexible employment, Women typically doing unpaid caregiving duties, Employment discrimination, and Discrimination in pay due to the undervaluation of women's work.

It has been reported that the gender pay gap has made gender equality concerns in the workplace are more transparent, but the true differences has been configured within the working positions of the female and male employees at the workplace. Female presence at the top of corporations has improved, but there is still a long way to go before which can say that gender equality in professional advancement is the norm. Several reviews have been found regarding this gap. But it has been found that in much higher positions such as the post of executive director positions, the adequacy of female representation in comparison with the other non-executive positions of male employees at the workplace. It reflected that women continue to be underrepresented in operational positions, which prevents them from having a daily impact on decision-making in UK businesses.

In the study, it has been found that approximately more than eleven percent of female employees have the positions of CFO and CEO roles (Bennedsen, et al. 2022). The study, however, demonstrates that there is still work to be done in order to reach gender parity, and the emphasis now needs to be on raising the proportion of women in executive committee roles and their direct reports in order to create a strong pipeline of female talent for the future.

Law

In UK law, there is still a problem with the gender wage disparity. Women in the UK receive, on average, 82p for every £1 earned by men, according to a 2017 analysis from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), which put the gender pay gap at 18.1%. Even though the Equal Wage Act, which outlawed discrimination based on gender, was adopted in 1975, this wage difference still exists today.

This is because women are still disproportionately employed in lower-paying professions in these occupations, which are still highly divided by gender. Data has been found to support the idea that women are more accommodative to obtain flexible and part-time employment options than male, even though these roles generally pay smaller than full-time employment. According to the IFS’, the gender pay gap broadens as people evolve older, with women acquiring on average nearly twenty percent smaller than men in their 40s. This disparity is most prominent between men and women in their 40s and 50s. This is likely because women in this age range are more likely to endure time off work to care for youthful children or senior relatives, which can consequence in a period of more downward earnings (Cortés, 2020). There is proof to sustain the idea that women are more likely than males to encounter discrimination in the workplace, which may consequence in women obtaining lower pay than men.

The UK government has appointed various steps to decline the gender pay gap, such as the Gender Pay Gap Reporting Legislation, which directs that businesses with more than 250 employees reveal the data related to their gender pay gap. The government has also established a combination of efforts to assist women in the workforce, such as the Women Returners Project, which assists women who have accepted a professional leave. Clashing gender segregation in the workplace and pressuring employers to provide equal pay and flexible scheduling to both men and women are necessary in order to further close the gender pay gap. To guarantee that they are not at a disadvantage in terms of income and job advancement, women who have taken a career hiatus should be given more encouragement to return to the workforce. It is also necessary for the employers that they have not to face any discrimination and the all-female employee should be equally treated within the workplace.

This gap is an ongoing issue in the UK and in this field, still, much work has to be required to assure that female employees also obtain equal career progression and pay as male employees at the workplace (Tao, 2021). It is necessary to track gender segregation and give support to female employees within the workplace during returning to work after taking a break so that these ongoing issues in the UK can be minimized.

One of the most valuable laws present in the UK is the Equality Act 2010 which is related to the mitigations of the gender pay gap. This act mainly works against discrimination against employees on the basis of gender. This indicates that regardless of gender, organizations must treat all workers fairly and equally and cannot discriminate in how much they pay their staff. The Act also mandates that firms must offer all workers equal chances. As a consequence, employers are forbidden from differentiating against any employees whether it arrives at employing, elevating, or supplying other prospects. In order to prevent prejudice on the basis of gender, it is very essential that every worker should have an equal opportunity to thrive in their career.

The Act also prohibits businesses from examining job candidates' earlier pay records during the process of hiring. In order to evade donating to the gender pay gap, companies are restricted from paying women small on the basis of their retired wages. Employers must document related to the gender wage difference based on the Act (Zhou, et al. 2020). This is accomplished to create sure employers are unrestricted about the gender salary gap in their company and to encourage them to endure action to complete it. As in the case of Asda Stores Ltd v Brierley and Others (Equality and Human Rights Commission intervening) 79(4)(c) of the Equality Act 2010 (2010 Act), employees of Asda Stores Ltd. filed the case, claiming that they were the victims of salary prejudice. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) documented the disagreement as a third party to offer legal counsel. In the end, the Supreme Court ruled that the workers had the right to assess their compensation in relation to that of those of the opposite sex in other departments of the company.

The UK has a combination of additional laws in place in order to help women in the workplace. The Equal Pay Act of 1970 directives that companies pay women and men equally for comparable kinds of positions, while the Sex Discrimination Act of 1975 prohibits prejudice based on sex. Employees, including women, have the right to seek flexible work schedules from their employers under the Flexible Working Regulations of 2014. This facilitates women to connect their personal and professional lives and causes it more unadorned for them to encounter employment that includes their other accountabilities.

The difference between the moderate hourly earnings of men and women in the UK is comprehended as the gender pay gap. It declined by 0.1% from the last year to approximately nine percent in the year 2019 (Andrew, et al. 2022). Several factors, such as the dissimilar employment that men and women retain, the industries they work in, and the number of hours they are positioned in, donate to this difference. By completing it easier for women to handle work and family commitments, this law expects to assist complete the gender pay gap. As a consequence, they may be capable to progress in their jobs and evade carrying a break from work to supervise children. Gender prejudice is interesting who should be the preliminary carer and breadwinner can be dispelled with the asset of adaptable employment interpretations.

As in the case of Walker v Sita Information Networking Computing Ltd [2017] IRLR 467, this is involved in the firing of a worker who had submitted a request for flexible work arrangements under this act. The employer had not taken into account the employee’s statutory rights under the act Employment Appeal TribunalThis is the dismissal unfair case.

Not to mention, the National Minimum Wage Act of 1998 guarantees that no worker in the UK, nevertheless of gender, can be yielded smaller than the national minimum wage. This will assure that every employee, nevertheless of gender, is yielded equitably for their position (Alon, et al. 2020). In order to decline the gender pay gap and sustain women in the workforce, the UK has several restrictions in place. With the support of these rules, corporations are promoted to minimize the gender wage gap by existing diaphanous while also confirming that women are treated impartially. Due to this law's provision that all employees, regardless of gender, are entitled to a minimum wage, the gender pay gap in the UK has been reduced. In order to confirm that women are yielded legally for the profession they do, this legislation has been essential in the dispute against the pay gap between women and men.

Further, nevertheless, of gender, the Act drives employers to yield similar salaries for equally practical work, which has donated to completing the gender pay gap. As a consequence of the legislation, similar pay laws have also been instructed, which have further supported to completion of the gender pay gap by guaranteeing that women and men are yielded equally for executing identical work. The gender pay gap in the UK has been actually destroyed attributable to this law (Etheridge, 2020). It has offered a much-required legal framework to guarantee that every employee has the privilege of the lowest wage, nevertheless of gender. In addition to guaranteeing that women are remunerated equitably for their childbearing, this legislation has remarkably lessened the pay gap between women and men.

  • the National Minimum Wage Act of 1998
  • Employment Appeal Tribunal, 1932
  • Walker v Sita Information Networking Computing Ltd [2017] IRLR 467,
  • The Equal Pay Act of 1970
  • Flexible Working Regulations of 2014
  • Equal Wage Act, 1975,
  • the Sex Discrimination Act of 1975

Application of law

Some theories and models have been followed to configure the issue related to the gender wage gap in the UK. The human capital argument, which demonstrates that the gender pay gap is carried on by discrepancies in women's and men's levels of activity, education, and knowledge, is one of the considerably well-known beliefs (Birkett, 2019). This idea competes that women could facilitate the gender pay gap if they expanded their status of education, training, and experience.

Based on the theory, men are more prone to choose higher-paying occupations like finance and engineering, while women are more likely to choose lower-paying positions like nursing and teaching. On the basis of this idea, this predilection is also obtained by gendered socialization and the scarcity of assets for women in sectors that have historically been conquered by men.

Another conceptualization of the gender pay gap has been the Stereotype Threat Model. According to this paradigm, women are more likely to perform below expectations in industries that have historically been dominated by males because they are afraid of being assessed according to gender stereotypes (Wenham, et al. 2020). Women may not strive to reach their full potential as a result of this fear of being judged since they may lack confidence and feel overwhelmed.

The idea of gender discrimination is the final one to be put up as a possible explanation for the gender pay discrepancy. Based on this view, one of the fundamental causes of gender pay disparity is workplace prejudice. Women are negligibly possible to be employed for jobs with increased salaries, displaying gender prejudice in the employment procedure. Women are less probably to be upgraded to higher-level jobs when there is a promotion process in place, which is another instance of it.

Comprehending the origin of the gender wage gap in the UK is produced achievable by these following these theories and models. It is important to recognize that there are different explanations that donate to the gender pay gap in the UK, together with gender prejudice, socialization of gender, and the shortage of consent for women in sectors that have historically been governed by fellows (Jayachandran, 2021). It is required to carry maintenance of each of these problems and generate laws and agendas that provide women with more prospects in order to complete the consequences of the gender pay gap.

The topic of the repercussions of revealing gender salary inequalities is still up for discussion. Transparency is frequently suggested by governments as a tactic to persuade businesses to narrow the gender wage gap. Women's advocacy unions and employee groups appear to share the view that pays concealment plays a substantial role in the underpayment of women. The lack of practical utility, increased administrative complexity, and privacy violations, according to opponents of pay transparency, make publishing gender pay a struggle for businesses. Transparency's impact on the gender pay gap and business outcomes is ultimately a matter of empirical research. It's questionable whether increased transparency will provide businesses the motivation to change their remuneration practices. Additionally, these pay changes may have unanticipated effects on business results like productivity and, ultimately, profitability.

Unobservable elements such as variations in risk aversion or employee bargaining power between men and women could be the main contributors to the gender wage discrepancy. In relation to our findings, we go over a few of these explanations below (Bennedsen, et al. 2022). Numerous studies contend that the disparity in bargaining strength and willingness between men and women causes the pay gap. As a result of transparency, the author used a dynamic bargaining approach for pay discussions. According to their concept, businesses are hesitant to pay a high salary to a worker when transparency is high because doing so will influence salary negotiations with other workers. As a result, overall wages decrease and there is less wage dispersion.

Women's economic agency is a key goal of human growth, and it can be shaped by laws and policies enforced by the state. When women have access to resources and income, both their lives and the society they live in improve. For instance, studies show that women's higher labor force engagement alters gender norms, women's political participation, and fertility rates. Women with more control over their possessions are better equipped to negotiate at home and escape violent situations (Card, et al. 2020). Women who manage the household budget typically spend it on things that help society and the next generation, like food, clothing, medical, and education.

Laws that discriminate against women have undergone quick and significant reform in recent years. The study's theoretical presumption is that legal limitations on women should have the most impact on bank accounts, business ownership, and labor force participation, while discrimination in wage work and parental leave should have the greatest impact on the unorganized sector and the wage gap (Htun, et al. 2019). The study is unable to conclude the causal linkages between legal provisions and societal outcomes from cross-sectional data collected at the national level.

By looking into and punishing employers who break the law, the Govt. can make sure that the Equality and Human Rights Commission has the power to stop sexual harassment and workplace discrimination. Enhance the caliber of local HR/people management support services provided to small businesses by important stakeholders including Local Enterprise Partnerships, Growth Hubs, and Chambers of Commerce. How to accomplish this is suggested by the People Skills pilots from the CIPD (Aldossari, 2021). Enhance gender equality at work through modernizing parental leave laws to better reflect the shifting dynamics of contemporary families. Enhance the 6-week paternity or partner leave provision under law, which must be paid at or almost paid at full time. Supporting the work of the Flexible Working Taskforce and creative initiatives by professional and industry groups and social businesses will aid in expanding the number and variety of flexible working options available throughout the economy. Create a challenge fund to help enterprises in high-risk industries test out flexible work arrangements and monitor their effects on key financial and human resource KPIs.

Conclusion

It is morally and legally wrong for any person to engage in any kind of prejudice or harassment, both at work and in public. In addition, if the organization doesn’t take harassment claims seriously or if the workplace culture motivates these types of issues to be ignored, many organizations will face the risk of losing valuable female talent by default. It is very important that every employee should feel safe and confident in the workplace. Organizations need to implement a zero-tolerance policy to sort out these kinds of discrepancies within the workplace. It is very important to include workforce flexibility so that female employees can be able to chance to get higher positions like male employees within the workplace. An action plan is required to mitigate the gap so that more realistic improvement can be set regarding this issue. All the employees should take positive steps so that any female employees are treated similarly within the workplace. More policies should be included so that the equal pay legislative regime can be implemented within the workplace. This essay will help to know about all legal issues related to women workers and the gender pay gap in the UK.

References

Books

  • Azcona, G., Bhatt, A., Encarnacion, J., Plazaola-Castaño, J., Seck, P., Staab, S. and Turquet, L., 2020.From insights to action: Gender equality in the wake of COVID-19. United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women).

Journals

  • Aldossari, M. and Chaudhry, S., 2021. Women and burnout in the context of a pandemic.Gender, Work & Organization,28(2), pp.826-834.
  • Alon, T., Doepke, M., Olmstead-Rumsey, J. and Tertilt, M., 2020.This time it's different: the role of women's employment in a pandemic recession(No. w27660). National Bureau of Economic Research.
  • Andrew, A., Cattan, S., Costa Dias, M., Farquharson, C., Kraftman, L., Krutikova, S., Phimister, A. and Sevilla, A., 2022. The gendered division of paid and domestic work under lockdown.Fiscal Studies,43(4), pp.325-340.
  • Bennedsen, M., Simintzi, E., Tsoutsoura, M. and Wolfenzon, D., 2022. Do firms respond to gender pay gap transparency?.The Journal of Finance,77(4), pp.2051-2091.
  • Bhopal, K. and Henderson, H., 2021. Competing inequalities: Gender versus race in higher education institutions in the UK.Educational Review,73(2), pp.153-169.
  • Bilan, Y., Mishchuk, H., Samoliuk, N. and Mishchuk, V., 2020. Gender discrimination and its links with compensations and benefits practices in enterprises.Entrepreneurial Business and Economics Review,8(3), pp.189-203.
  • Birkett, H. and Forbes, S., 2019. Where’s dad? Exploring the low take-up of inclusive parenting policies in the UK.Policy Studies.
  • Card, D., Lemieux, T. and Riddell, W.C., 2020. Unions and wage inequality: The roles of gender, skill and public sector employment.Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique,53(1), pp.140-173.
  • Clark, A.E., d’Ambrosio, C. and Lepinteur, A., 2021. The fall in income inequality during COVID-19 in four European countries.The Journal of Economic Inequality,19, pp.489-507.
  • Cominetti, N. and Slaughter, H., 2020. Low Pay Britain 2020.
  • Cortés, P. and Pan, J., 2020.Children and the remaining gender gaps in the labor market(No. w27980). National Bureau of Economic Research.
  • Etheridge, B. and Spantig, L., 2020.The gender gap in mental well-being during the Covid-19 outbreak: Evidence from the UK(No. 2020-08). ISER Working paper series.
  • Htun, M., Jensenius, F.R. and Nelson-Nuñez, J., 2019. Gender-discriminatory laws and women’s economic agency.Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society,26(2), pp.193-222.
  • Jayachandran, S., 2021. Social norms as a barrier to women’s employment in developing countries.IMF Economic Review,69(3), pp.576-595.
  • O’Connor, P., 2020. Why is it so difficult to reduce gender inequality in male-dominated higher educational organizations? A feminist institutional perspective.Interdisciplinary Science Reviews,45(2), pp.207-228.
  • Tao, K. and Scott, S., 2021. Gender Wage Gap of Utah Workforce and Post-secondary Graduates.Utah Data Research Center.
  • Wenham, C., Smith, J., Davies, S.E., Feng, H., Grépin, K.A., Harman, S., Herten-Crabb, A. and Morgan, R., 2020. Women are most affected by pandemics—lessons from past outbreaks.Nature,583(7815), pp.194-198.
  • Zhou, M., Hertog, E., Kolpashnikova, K. and Kan, M.Y., 2020. Gender inequalities: Changes in income, time use and well-being before and during the UK COVID-19 lockdown.

Websites

  • Gender equality at work | CIPD
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