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Employment Law

Legal guidance - compliance - software

02 NOV 2015

Moves towards promoting gender equality in the workplace

Moves towards promoting gender equality in the workplace
Helen Hughes
Solicitor, Veale Wasbrough Vizards

The European Parliament has adopted a Resolution calling on the European Commission to revise European legislation and take other actions to achieve equality between men and women in the workplace. The UK government has also announced measures seeking to remove gender inequality from workplaces in the UK.

On 8 October the European Parliament adopted a Resolution which noted that the existing European Directive, on the implementation of equal opportunities and equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment and occupation, was insufficient to achieve gender equality in the labour market. It also noted that the gender pay gap continues and is even increasing.

The Resolution called upon the European Commission to take actions to decrease this inequality and adopt proposals to revise the existing Directive to ensure it is implemented and enforced effectively. European member states were also called upon to increase efforts to fully implement European gender equality laws.

On 25 October the UK government also announced steps to remove gender pay inequality and barriers to women's success in the UK. This follows the recent consultation on gender pay gap reporting. The proposed measures are to:

  • Require large employers to publish information on bonuses for both men and women as part of their gender pay gap reporting.
  • Extend gender pay gap reporting from the private and voluntary sectors to public sector employers.
  • Work with businesses to eradicate all-male boards in FTSE 350 companies.
These developments both at European and domestic level show the direction of travel in respect of ensuring gender equality in employment. It is clear that the gender pay gap and other gender inequality issues are not going away, which has triggered further proposals to legislate to change behaviours.

We will keep you updated on any further developments in this area.
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