Activists urge bosses to stop asking candidates for salary history | Equal salary

Activists urged employers to stop asking job seekers for salary history, saying it discriminates against women, people of color, people with disabilities and reinforces the gender pay gap.

A survey by the Fawcett Society to mark Equal Pay Day on Thursday – the date women actually start working for free because they are paid less than men on average – found that asking for details on past income is also unreliable as four in 10 working adults lied about their past salary.

Savanta ComRes’ survey of 2,000 workers found that 58% of women and 54% of men said that disclosing their past earnings meant they were being offered a lower salary than they would have otherwise received, while 61% of women said that being asked about their salary damaged their confidence in asking for a better salary, compared to 53% of men.

Asking people to disclose past pay worsens the gender pay gap and is particularly discriminatory against women who have had time away from the workplace to have children, the organization said. This can also backfire: according to the survey, 63% of women and 58% of men have higher esteem for an employer who has not asked for a previous salary.

“Asking about the history of wages may mean that past wage discrimination follows women, people of color and people with disabilities throughout their careers. It also means that new employers replicate the pay differentials of other organizations, ”said Jemima Olchawski, Executive Director of the Fawcett Society.

“Quitting asking is a simple, evidence-based way for organizations to improve pay equity – it’s good for women, employers and our economy. “

Fawcett calculates Equal Pay Day each year using the average hourly wage gap for full-time workers from the Office of National Statistics. In 2021, that figure stands at 11.9%, up from 10.6% in 2020, although Covid and the impact of leave data may have affected this year’s data. Over the past 10 years, the gap has narrowed by 4%, progress the organization describes as “glacial”.

At the current rate of progress, it will be necessary to wait until 2050 to close the pay gap between men and women.

This year, the ONS reported that the gender pay gap among all employees was 15.4%, down from 14.9% in April 2020 but still down from 17.4% in 2019. The gender pay gap is higher for all employees than for full-time employees, as more women work in lower-paying part-time jobs – 37% of working women were working part-time in August 2021, against 13% of men. There are 6.2 million women working part time compared to 1.8 million men part time.

Research suggests that hopes for a post-pandemic flexible work revolution are fading. A recent report from the flexible work social enterprise Timewise, found that in 2021 three quarters of jobs advertised in the UK did not offer any flexible working options, only 8% mentioned working from home and 10% offered part-time work. Flexible hours were offered in 3% of job postings.

The study analyzed 5 million job vacancies between January-April 2021 and 12-April to 31 August 2021.

Research has found that part-time work and low wages were synonymous – 19% of jobs paying less than £ 19,000 offered part-time work, with just 3% offering homework and 7% flexible work. For jobs paying over £ 80,000, only 3% of advertisements offered part-time work, 14% offered work from home and 10% offered some form of flexible working.

Timewise CEO Melissa Jamieson said many part-time workers wanted to work longer hours and build better careers, but struggled to find flexible work to accommodate their family responsibilities.

“If you really want to start tackling the gender pay gap, flexibility is the place, and part-time work in particular is key to tackling,” she said. “In traditional roles, many women end up feeling trapped and end up leaving, to take work below their skill and ability level, as this is the only type of part-time job they can find. .

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