In today’s news review we look at the gender pay gap regulations and the Apprenticeship Levy coming into force.
Gender pay gap
On Thursday, 6 April, the Government’s regulations requiring employers with 250 or more staff to report their gender pay gap and bonus pay gap come into effect. This will impact employers in the public, private and voluntary sectors. Employers will have a year to report their figures, which will be made publicly available and is a part of the Government’s work to close the gender pay gap.
The FT (p.2) has covered an interview with Secretary of State Justine Greening. The Radio 4 Today programme, BBC Breakfast and Good Morning Britain all covered the story on broadcast. In print and online this was covered by ITV, the BBC, Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Mirror, Daily Mail, the Times, The Metro (p.2) and City AM.
Ensuring that women have the same opportunities as men to fulfil their potential in the workplace is a key part of building a country that works for everyone, as the Prime Minister made clear in her first speech outside Downing Street.
These regulations have been welcomed by many key businesses:
Ann Francke, Chief Executive of the Chartered Management Institute, said:
Today’s regulation is a real opportunity to create a more inclusive, more diverse, and more productive workforce – all of which is vital if Britain is to thrive post-Brexit.
Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive of Oil & Gas UK said:
Publishing details of the gender pay gap is very welcome because transparency helps to shine a light around the gap that continues to exist.
Jayne-Anne Gadhia, Chief Executive of Virgin Money said:
Gender pay gap reporting will encourage all companies to put diversity and inclusion at the heart of their practices and work hard to ensure progress in this area.
Emer Timmons, Chief Marketing Officer and President of Strategic Sales for Brightstar and member of the Women’s Business Council said:
As a member of the Women’s Business Council (WBC) and co-chair of the Men as Agents for change committee, I wholeheartedly embrace the Gender Pay Gap Information regulations. This is exactly the kind of regulation that will shake up the industry, and I truly believe it will be a positive force for change.
Minister for Women and Equalities Justine Greening said:
We have more women in work, more women-led businesses than ever before and the highest proportion of women on the boards of our biggest companies. This has helped us to narrow the gender pay gap to a record 18.1 per cent – but we want to eliminate it completely.
Helping women to reach their full potential isn’t only the right thing to do, it makes good economic sense and is good for British business. I am proud that the UK is championing gender equality and now those employers that are leading the way will clearly stand out with these requirements.
Today, Thursday 6 April, the Government officially launched its apprenticeship levy. The levy will require all employers in the UK with an annual wage bill of over £3 million to pay 0.5 per cent of it towards funding apprenticeships. This money will be invested in quality training for apprentices and double the investment in apprenticeships in England to £2.5 billion by 2019-2020, compared with 2010-11 levels.
There has been some coverage today by the Telegraph, Independent and City Am who have covered comments by business and training groups, including the CBI and City and Guilds, who have said that some businesses will be confused by the Levy.
This is the biggest shake-up of skills for a generation and will encourage employers to invest in high-quality apprenticeships ensuring even more people have a chance to reach their full potential.
The Apprenticeship Levy has received widespread support across many sectors:
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady:
The apprenticeship levy is good news for workers, who will have more opportunities to gain the skills needed for better paid jobs.
Petra Wilton, director of strategy for the Chartered Management Institute:
The new apprenticeship landscape provides much needed changes, which put employers in the driving seat for developing new apprenticeships standards to meet the skills they need.
Lizzie Crowley, Skills Advisor CIPD:
Today, there is a new appreciation of the benefits apprenticeships can bring for individuals, businesses and the economy. Apprenticeships cover a huge range of occupations and sectors, including digital media, public relations, accounting, engineering, human resources and cyber security, and are available all the way up to a degree-level qualification. For young people starting out in their career, or for those seeking to upskill or change direction, a high quality apprenticeship pathway offers the chance to earn an income whilst building vital skills.
David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges (AoC):
Apprenticeships are a powerful way for people to enter employment and develop a career as well as helping people progress in work to higher levels. We believe they will play a major part in filling skills gaps and shortages, supporting social mobility and helping to improve productivity.
Skills Minister Robert Halfon said:
There has never been a more important time for Britain to invest in the skills of our people and businesses. To make Britain stronger and fairer, we need to make sure that everyone gets the chance to climb the ladder of opportunity to gain the education and skills they need to be successful in life.
Our apprenticeship levy is a massive part of this. More than 90 per cent of apprentices go into work or further training, and the quality on the job training on offer will make sure we have the people with the skills, knowledge and technical excellence to drive our country forward.
Building an Apprenticeship and Skills Nation is essential in ensuring that we have the home-grown workforce we need in post-Brexit Britain to address the skills shortages facing industry and give everyone the chance to succeed.
For more information about the Apprenticeship Levy and apprenticeship funding please see here.