A Liberal Democrat manifesto pledge to force big companies to publish the average pay of their male and female employees has been dismissed as “crude” by the Institute of Directors (IoD).
The policy, launched today by leader Nick Clegg and employment minister Jo Swinson, would mean businesses that employed more than 250 people must publish the average pay of male and female staff.
The party hopes the move, which makes use of legislation drafted by Labour in 2010, will give employees the power to push for greater pay equality and hold employers to account.
But Lisa Buckingham, diversity adviser at think tank the IoD, warned the pledge would not tackle the 19.7 per cent gap between what women and men are paid in the UK.
“We support the objectives of this policy, but there is a risk that simply publishing average salaries for men and women will give you a pretty crude bit of data that won’t actually lead to any change,” Buckingham said, adding: “The temptation is always for a quick fix, but we would encourage companies voluntarily to produce a more detailed picture of male and female pay.”