Two-thirds of MPs believe that new requirements forcing companies to report gender, ethnicity and executive pay gaps do not go far enough in tackling wage disparities.
A survey commissioned by the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT), first seen by the Press Association, reveals that 69% of MPs believe that the new pay reporting requirements are “a good start in tackling pay reported problems but much more needs to be done”.
About 13% of MPs disagreed with the statement that more was needed to be done to tackle pay reporting, while 3% said they did not know.
“Most people now accept the rationale for gender, ethnicity and executive pay reporting but there is broad recognition that these new requirements don’t go far enough,” Phil Hall, head of public affairs and public policy at accountancy body AAT, said.
“It’s good to know that MPs are similarly minded… however, recognising the problem and dealing with it are two very different matters.”
Mr Hall said “simply reporting on a problem, whilst helping to shine a light on issues, is very different from resolving those issues”, adding that reporting requirements are “not an end in themselves”.
At the start of the new year, rules came into force that required Britain’s biggest companies to justify bosses’ salaries and reveal the pay gap with their average workers.
The new regulation meant that for the first time UK-listed companies with more than 250 employees have to disclose every year the difference between their chief executive’s pay and their average UK worker, known as the “pay ratio”.
It followed public and political uproar over recent pay packets for executives at firms such as Persimmon, WPP and BP.
Persimmon boss Jeff Fairburn resigned following outrage over his £75 million bonus, while shareholders revolted over the termination package for former WPP chief Sir Martin Sorrell.
The rules on executive pay followed measures enforced last year which required companies with more than 250 employees to publish the average pay figures across their organisation between men and women.
Last week, the Government finished consulting on a new directive to require companies to report their ethnicity pay gap, although the nature of what data will be reported, and how, is yet to revealed.
Mr Hall called for companies to be compelled to publish action plans for addressing pay disparities rather than the current voluntary system, as well as tougher sanctions for companies that do not comply.
He also wants to reduce the threshold to include firms that employ more that 50 people, as “companies employing more than 250 employees account for a mere 1% of UK businesses”.
The poll, which was conducted by YouGov, surveyed a representative sample of 101 MPs across parties, gender, electoral cohort and geography between December 4 and 18.