Caroline Dinenage on gender pay gap reporting and free childcare

Caroline Dinenage on gender pay gap reporting and free childcare

Commenting on the gender pay gap reporting regulations due to come into force in April, Women, Equalities and Early Years minister Caroline Dinenage has told First Women that publishing the data means companies will be better able to tackle pay discrepancies between men and women.

The gender pay gap is lower than ever, at 18 per cent, but it’s still 18 per cent too high, Dinenage remarked. And that’s why government is implementing measures to tackle the differences between what men and women earn.

Part of the measures will be to require companies with more than 250 staff to publish the gender pay gap and gender bonus gap figures in their organisation by April 2018. Companies are mandated to start collecting information from next month.

Dinenage said: “I’m a great believer in what gets measured gets managed, and what gets published gets managed even better. I’m hopeful that when companies analyse data, they will be able to make sure they’re putting in place the right measures to ensure talented female staff are making their way through the pipeline and into top roles.”

On the task of removing barriers against women’s progression into leadership, Dinenage stressed the importance of government and businesses working hand in hand to make sure measures are in place, and are being used to help women get into higher paid roles and to stay there.

The latest addition to measures such as Shared Parental Leave and Flexible Working is the introduction of 30 hours of free childcare per week for working parents of three to four-year-olds, due to be rolled out later this year.

In addition to the 30-hour childcare plan, Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond announced in the Spring Budget speech last week a Tax-Free Childcare regime to provide up to £2,000 a year in childcare support for each child under 12.

Parents will be able to receive up to £4,000 for disabled children up to the age of 17.

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