Gender pay gap law could have significant impact, say experts

Law forcing UK companies to publish their gender pay gap comes into force on Thursday, and many are hopeful it will help improve equality   Laws forcing employers to reveal the gender pay gap in their workforce, which come into force on Thursday, could do more to reduce the earnings gulf between men and women than four decades of equality legislation, according to employment experts.   Thousands of employers will begin to record their gender pay gap figures for the first time and will have to publish their first figures before April next year.   The rules – which will be enforced by the Equality and Human Rights Commission – require companies who employ more than 250 people to provide data about their pay gap, the proportion of male and female employees in different pay bands, their gender bonus gap, and a breakdown of how many women and men get a bonus. The legislation will affect around 9,000 companies, who collectively employing more than 15 million people.   The changes could have a significant impact on the UK’s gender pay gap, said Sarah Henchoz, employment partner at law firm Allen & Overy. “The gender pay gap reporting provisions are likely to do more for pay parity in five years than equal pay legislation has done in 45 years,” she said.   Excerpt from The Guardian, read the full article here.     Assertiveness Assertiveness is the ability to express yourself and your rights without violating the rights of others. Acting assertively will allow you to feel more self-confident and will generally gain you the respect of your peers and friends. It can increase your chances for honest relationships, and help you to feel better about yourself and your self-control in everyday situations. This, in turn, can improve your decision-making ability and possibly your chances of getting what you really want from life. Assertiveness or aggressive behaviour? Before we can look at techniques that can help you to become more assertive it is important to look at the differences between being assertive, aggressive and non-assertive.
  • Non-assertive behaviour: The act of withdrawing from a situation. This is a passive approach to a situation, allowing others to choose for you.  Examples of non- assertive language would be – “Oh, it’s nothing”, “Oh, that’s all right; I didn’t want it anymore”, “why don’t you go ahead and do it; my ideas aren’t very good anyway”. Its not being able to say No
  • Aggressive behaviour:  The act of over-reacting emotionally to a situation. Aggression can also take the form of a lie or a misrepresentation of the facts. This is a self-enhancing, egotistical approach to a situation and not allowing others to choose for themselves, but choosing for them. This develops hostility, defensiveness on the aggressor’s part and hurt, humiliation on the receiver’s part. Examples of aggressive language- “You are crazy!”, “Do it my way!
  • Assertive behaviour: The act of declaring that this is what I am, what I think and feel, and what I want. This is a non-egotistical, active, rather than passive, approach to a situation. The result is an open, direct self-expression of your thoughts and feelings, allowing others to choose for themselves, mutual satisfaction at achieving a desired goal. Examples of assertive language- “I think we should”, “That seems unfair to me”, “Can you help me with this?” , “I appreciate your help”.
Specific techniques for assertiveness Body language can help you to improve your assertive behaviour:
  • Eye contact and facial expression: maintain direct eye contact; appear interested and alert, but not angry
  • Posture: stand or sit erect, possibly leaning forward slightly. Don’t fold arms across chest
  • Distance and contact: stand or sit at a normal conversational distance from the other
  • Gestures: use relaxed, conversational gestures
  • Voice: use a factual, not emotional tone of voice. Sound determined and full of conviction, but not overbearing
  • Timing: choose a time when both parties are relaxed. A neutral site is best. Listen as well as speaking
Be as specific and clear as possible about what you want, think, and feel. The following statements project this preciseness:
  • “I want to…”
  • “I don’t want you to…”
  • “Would you…?”
  • “I have a different opinion, I think that…”
  • “I have mixed reactions. I agree with these aspects for these reasons, but I am concerned about these aspects for these reasons.”
 

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