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Employers encouraged to openly discuss pay in a bid to reduce gender inequality

Calendar November 12, 2018

The Fawcett Society has warned employers that secrecy around wages could be contributing to gender pay inequality following their latest research.
Their research discovered that 53 per cent of women and 47 per cent of men would feel uncomfortable discussing their pay with their colleagues, and one in three of those surveyed were unaware that pay discrimination is illegal.

It was reported that 60 per cent of employees did not know that they have a legal right to openly discuss their salaries if they suspect that they may be being discriminated against, while 3 in 10 also believe that their contracts prevent them from talking to their colleagues about their pay.
52 per cent of workers stated that they felt their managers would be unhappy if they wanted to discuss their wage openly with others. This is in spite of it being illegal to stop employees from discussing their salaries in the workplace, under the terms of The Equality Act 201o.
Following the research, The Fawcett Society has warned that the lack of openness surrounding pay could allow gender discrimination to continue, due to employees feeling unable to speak up.

Chief Executive at The Fawcett Society, Sam Smethers said: “Pay secrecy arises through a basic discomfort in talking about pay and a mix of well-intentioned aims around privacy, as well as where employers know they’re in the wrong and want to cover it up.

“When employers don’t take a proactive approach and fix their equal pay issues, they face an even greater reputational risk when it comes to light. But this is also about valuing women properly – an equally paid workforce will be a happier and more productive workforce.”

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