Lingerie retailers brace for new gender pay gap legislation

The UK government will introduce a new legislation this week that will require private sector employers to publish annual data on their gender pay gap, in a game-changing move that could result in fair pay for women in retail.

Under the Equality Act (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2016, due to come into force on October 1, employers will need to take a snapshot of their gender pay data in April 2017, and publish the information on their UK website no later than April 2018.

The news comes amid reports that men in the retail and wholesale sectors are paid an average of £4,523 more a year than women.

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The new legislation will initially apply to organisations that employ 250 people or more, although it is widely expected that this minimum qualifying criteria will reduce.

Tim O’Callaghan, a Partner at Druces LLP and regular legal columnist at Lingerie Insight, said: “Many campaigners want to see the regulations apply to all employers, however small. This is understandable and, perhaps, the inevitable result of the current equality laws in the UK, the general drift of which is to eradicate all inequality between the sexes in the workplace.

“In the brave-new-world of lingerie retail it is as indefensible to insist on a lingerie sales assistant as being female as it is to pay your male store managers disproportionately on the basis of their sex.”

The government has stated that it will run checks to assess for non-compliance, publish league tables by sector of employers’ reported gender pay gaps and that it may name and shame employers who have not complied with the requirements.

The gender pay gap is the difference between the average pay of all male employers and the average pay of all female employers. Click here to find out more.

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