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Leading gender equality charity, the Fawcett Society, has calculated that 18 November is Equal Pay Day — the point in the year where women effectively, on average, stop earning relative to men because of the gender pay gap.

 

The Society uses the mean, full-time, hourly gender pay gap for the UK to calculate the gender pay gap for Equal Pay Day which this year is 11.9%, an increase from 10.6% in 2020.

 

It has marked the day by calling on employers to take the #EndSalaryHistory pledge: to stop asking new recruits how much they were paid in their previous jobs.

 

“Asking for salary history is a recruitment practice that takes in gender, race and disability inequality,” the charity argues. “It is a self-perpetuating system that allows for biases.”

 

It highlights that 61% women who have been asked about salary history say it damaged their confidence to negotiate for better pay, while almost as many (58%) said it made them feel as if their low past salary was “coming back to haunt them”.

 

More information about the End Salary History campaign can be found at https://www.fawcettsociety.org.uk/end-salary-history-equal-pay-day-2021-briefing while employers can sign the pledge, and gain access to proposed social media graphics, at https://www.endsalaryhistory.co.uk.

 

Many employers do not realise that by asking for someone’s salary history, they are perpetuating the gender pay gap, the Fawcett Society notes. It therefore highlights the benefits of ending the practice as:

  • offering a simple way to demonstrate commitment to equality to all employees

     

  • providing a low- to no-cost, evidence-led way to improve the organisation’s gender pay gap reports

     

  • becoming a more attractive organisation to work for given that research shows that women take the gender pay gap into account when considering applying for jobs.

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