Business leader says gender pay gap must end

Babs Murphy

Babs Murphy

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A female business leader has provided cautious backing to plans which aim to make clear the gender gap in pay.

Babs Murphy, chief executive of the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, said differences in pay simply due to sex was “perverse”.

It’s something that needs to be addressed but it must be achieved through a clearly thought out process rather than an exercise in ticking boxes

The government is seeking views on draft regulations to tackle differences in pay between men and women. Companies which fail to address pay differences between male and female employees could be highlighted in new league tables.

Firms with more than 250 employees will be forced to reveal any pay gap.

Babs Murphy said: “It seems perverse that, as a society, we are in the 21st century but still having to discuss equality in the workplace.

“It’s something that needs to be addressed but it must be achieved through a clearly thought out process rather than an exercise in ticking boxes.

“There is a danger, however, that the use of league tables may lead to naming and shaming which isn’t constructive at all.”

She said instead companies should be given advice and help to close the gap.