Companies with 250 or more employees will have their pay gap between men and women scrutinised in new league tables under plans announced today.
The measures, thought to affect around 8,000 employers across the UK, will include large fashion businesses such as Asos.com, Arcadia and John Lewis.
Firms will need to start calculating the pay gap from April 2017, one year ahead of the first tables being published. Employers must also publish their gender pay gap on their websites.
Latest figures suggest that women in the UK still earn on average 20% less than men, meaning women are paid the equivalent of 80p for every £1 paid to a man.
However CBI director-general Carolyn Fairbairn has warned against taking a “name and shame” approach, arguing it would only give a partial picture because of factors such as the mix of part-time and full working and sectoral differences.
“Where reporting can be useful is as a prompt for companies to ask the right questions about how they can eradicate the gender pay gap,” she said.
“The Government should consult closely with business to ensure that this new legislation helps close the gender pay gap, rather than ending up as a box-ticking exercise.”