Shocking gender pay gap figures are revealed

Tesco shop floor employee.

With the deadline for big companies to publish their employee pay statistics coming up at the beginning of April, many companies come under threat of legal action as huge gender pay gaps are revealed. Nicola Coaker reports

British multinational grocery story, Tesco is the latest company to be exposed of the findings which is estimated to cost them up to £4 billion. The law firm which will act upon the employees general rights says that up to 2,000 Tesco workers could benefit from the claim.

The pay gap comes from a pay difference between the men working in the distribution centre’s who are said to earn approximately £11 an hour and women who work on the shop floor earning only £9 an hour.

Law student, Lorenzo Agosto, explained the process of calculating the gender pay gap in big companies such as tesco, “The Equality Act 2010… means that companies should calculate their employee pay data through the mean and median of both their hourly pay and bonus pay. They should also calculate the proportion of both genders who receive a pay rise as well as the proportion who are on higher pay bands.” 

Whilst a Tesco employee who wishes to remain anonymous said “To be honest, on the shop floor we all get the same pay… the people who work in the distribution centres get more than people on the shop floor but that’s understandable because they’re doing a lot of heavy lifting. I wouldn’t say that it affects me at all”. 

Under the Equal Pay Act 1970, and more recently, the Equality Act 2010, it is unlawful to pay people unequally because they are a man or a woman. This applies to all employers, no matter how small. However, the new law means that only companies with over 250 employees are required to submit their figures before April. 

The Fawcett Society, a group which campaigns for equality, says that parenting responsibilities can be a huge factor which affects the pay. As women are most commonly the gender who will care for young children or elderly relatives it results in women being the gender most likely to work part-time. This means that their jobs will often be lower paid and due to less hours in work each week, they will have fewer opportunities for progression.