A group of MPs has said that small companies should report their gender pay gap by 2020.
Currently only firms with over 250 employees are required to make the information public, but the MPs want to extend that requirement to companies with over 50 employees.
The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee said the government must take further action to narrow it, and that companies should also make clear their strategies for closing the gap.
It said the legal sanctions available for companies who don’t comply need to be made clear and the government should “rectify this error at the next opportunity”.
“The new reporting regime is a step forward but it’s full potential has not yet been realised,” the report added.
Chair of the committee Rachel Reeves MP called pay gaps of over 40% “obscene and entirely unacceptable”.
“It is 48 years since the Equal Pay Act and the gender pay gap reporting requirement has shown we still have a long way to go until women’s work is valued as much as men’s,” she added.
Ryanair, JP Morgan, Capital Resourcing Limited and Clarins had large pay gaps of 71.8%, 64%, 50.8% and 49% respectively, as shown by the reports released in April.
Employees can find out the gender pay gap at their company, if it had over 250 employees, by searching on the government’s website.