UK Firms Examine Comp Gender Bias

August 27, 2001( - Nine large British companies will review the compensation and conditions of their female workers as part of a UK government review to reduce the salary gap between men and women.

Britain passed the Equal Pay Act in 1970, giving women the legal right to earn the same as men, however the government estimates that full-time female workers are paid 18% less on average than their male colleagues.

For example, women working in the banking and insurance industry are paid around £10 per hour while male colleagues get £18, while women working in sales got paid about £2 less an hour than men, according to the UK Equal Opportunities Commission

The government review also aims to develop practical guidelines for promoting fairer wages for women, and aims raise awareness of existing legislation covering the issue. Among those reviewing women’s wages are:

  • British Airways,
  • banks HSBC and Citigroup,
  • and retail giants Littlewoods and Sainsbury’s
  • consumer products group Unilever,
  • utility firm Centrica,
  • catering services firm Compass, and
  • media group Granada