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Implicating public companies in the equal pay debate

Russell, Roseanne 2012. Implicating public companies in the equal pay debate. International Journal of Discrimination and the Law 12 (2) , pp. 81-98. 10.1177/1358229112456587

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Abstract

The pay gap between men and women remains high and most acute in the private sector, in which large public companies dominate. Following the recent fortieth anniversary of the enactment of the UK’s Equal Pay Act, there have been renewed efforts to solve the pay gap. Some have highlighted the ‘business case’ for equal pay. This article makes the case for equal pay to be treated as a corporate concern but argues that reforms appealing to the ‘business case’ are unlikely to lead to sincere progress. It analyses the UK’s corporate foundation of ‘enlightened shareholder value’ captured in section 172 of the Companies Act 2006, and key aspects of the internal governance structures of UK public companies. The central argument introduced is that contradictions between the causes of the pay gap and corporate aims and structures undermine the genuine pursuit of pay equality. The article concludes by arguing that a more secure platform for reform may be found by exploiting the flaws in the shareholder value paradigm and arguing for a revised model based on principles of feminist legal theory, rather than appealing to the business case for equal pay.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Law
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
K Law > KD England and Wales
Uncontrolled Keywords: Equal; law; pay; gap; company; business; gender
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 1358-2291
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:26
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/39039

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