Seema Malhotra MP asked the Government if they would consider a threshold in which companies would have to publish an action plan to show how they will tackle and reduce this issue.

Harriert Harman QC MP called for an Urgent Question in the House of Commons on the topic of the gender pay gap in the United Kingdom.

Since April all companies who employ over 250 employees must publish their internal figures for the wage gap between men and women.

The gender pay gap in the UK at 18.4 per cent for full-time and part-time workers, according to the UK’s Office for National Statistics.

Here is the full transcript.

Seema Malhotra MP:
I thank my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Camberwell and Peckham (Ms Harman) for asking this urgent question, and for starting us off with her characteristic insight, constructive challenge and no-nonsense approach to the issue.

For employers with a particularly large gender pay gap, would the Minister consider exploring a threshold above which an organisation would be required to publish an action plan for closing or reducing that gender pay gap?

Victoria Atkins MP:
We have thought about this carefully. At the moment we are saying that it is best practice for companies to publish action plans, and a lot of companies are doing so. I want to take businesses with us. I do not want to set the Government’s face against them. We want this change to happen and we know that the public will exists, so although we are advising organisations to publish action plans as best practice, that does leave us with options should companies not choose to follow that guidance.

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