The Government is moving ahead with plans to force businesses with more than 250 employees to disclose data on the gender pay gap among staff.

  • A consultation will consider what, when and where information is published
  • The Liberal Democrats first proposed initiative while in Coalition government
  • Grocers have been accused of paying female staff less than male counterparts

A consultation on the measure beings today and Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to tell business leaders later today the move will “pressure” firms into boosting women’s wages, according to the BBC.

The Prime Minister will say the move is part of an ambition to eliminate the gender pay gap “within a generation”.

The consultation will investigate what, when and where the information will be published.

The Liberal Democrats initially pushed for the policy during the coalition government despite initial Conservative opposition, but the Tories later included mandatory equal pay reporting in their election manifesto.

Retailers have been accused of unfairly paying female staff less than their male counterparts. In October it emerged Asda was facing mass legal action over equal pay for female store workers in a case that could have implications for the whole sector.

Staff at the grocer are arguing they are not paid the same as male workers in Asda’s distribution centre, and claim that their jobs are of “equivalent value”.

The case will test how retailers pay employees in different parts of the business.

Law firm Leigh Day is representing the former and current employees who are making the case.

Leigh Day is also representing four women who claim they are paid less than male colleagues to do equally valuable jobs at Sainsbury’s and are pursuing legal action on the same grounds as the Asda workers.