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What’s the difference?
It has been reported that ten female BBC presenters are considering suing the Corporation after its annual report revealed huge pay gaps between female and male presenters. The list of those paid more than £150,000, upset many who shared the same job titles as others, but were paid considerably less.

The women have approached the BBC’s management to demand that their pay is brought into line with their male colleagues and if it is not they will consider legal action

However, it seems that if the BBC tries to reduce the men’s wages, they may also sue. It would be possible for them to dismiss the men concerned and then re-employ them on new terms, i.e. lower pay. But the male employees would have to agree to that, because legally it would appear that they would have a clear-cut case of unfair dismissal.

It is therefore unclear how they are going to be able to afford to put this anomaly right. But it is also important that smaller business owners are aware of the measures they need to take to tackle gender pay gap inequality in their own workplace.

While the government has indicated that any organisation that has 250 or more employees must publish and report specific figures about their gender pay gap, companies of all sizes, including very small firms, can take steps to close the gap too.

Companies with fewer than 250 employees, or those with expansion plans that may take them over that level, should keep a close eye on this, as they are likely to be required to submit pay gap reports in the near future. Taking a proactive approach will benefit smaller companies by making sure that they are ready if/ when the government decides it should include them too. Even if they decide not to legislate to make companies produce this information, it is good practice to ensure that you are paying people the same rates for doing the same job irrespective of their gender or any other protected characteristic. Not to do so could result in an Equal Pay Claim or a claim of discrimination under the Equality Act 2010.
Posted on 21 Jul 2017

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