Gender equality in the workplace remains well and truly on the radar of businesses and politicians, at the very highest levels, following the recent accusations levelled at FTSE 100 companies by Cranfield University’s School of Management. Its report highlights that the largest firms satisfactorily recruit young women in to junior positions, offer development opportunities and retain female employees returning from maternity leave. These businesses are, however, failing miserably to promote women to the highest executive levels.
The Department of Business echoed these sentiments in its own investigations. Its initial findings in 2011 suggested that 25% of board members at big businesses should be women by 2015 in order to avoid a situation where the government may consider introducing obligatory quotas. Of course, not every successful small, medium or large business in the country is a FTSE 100 company. Business owners and their HR payroll teams need not quake in their boots just yet about having insufficient female representation on their boards. Yet the matter is certainly food for thought in terms of gender equality in their own workplaces.
Minister for Women, Theresa May, urges businesses not to “ignore the talent of half the population”. The penalties can be severe, costing money and reputations, for businesses that actively discriminate against women when recruiting, remunerating and promoting. Amendments to employment law in 2010 clarified the legal obligations of employers regarding protected characteristics – age, disability, gender, race, religion and sexual orientation – of job applicants and employees. Since the amendments were passed, numerous businesses have fallen foul of gender discrimination accusations in employment tribunals and discriminatory accusations against applicants and staff.
At Moorepay, we are a leading provider of outsourced human resources and payroll services to businesses of all sizes who want to ensure they have the expertise, processes and procedures in place to avoid legal action on the grounds of gender discrimination.
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