Could a new law - currently applied in Massachusetts, USA - that makes it illegal for employers to ask jobseekers their current salary prior to offering them a position work in the UK?
I can see the benefit of the legislation below, in that it will put a stop to gender inequality when it comes to pay, I am concerned that candidates could use this to their advantage to leverage their salary way above their market value. We tend to suggest a 10% uplift on base salary (obviously dependent upon the whole package) when considering an external move. We have however witnessed candidates wanting as much as 50% as an uplift on their existing salary. It doesn't matter how good a candidate is, it merely prices them out of the market long term. So I am not sure this legislation would work in the UK job market.
Speaking to Business Grapevine, Kevin Charles, Director and Barrister at Crossland Employment Solicitors, chats about how this could be applied in the UK. "The new law is certainly well intentioned and a step in the right direction in seeking to reduce the gender pay gap," he says. "However, one of the reasons for the gender pay gap is that employers often undervalue women’s competence and ability to perform a role compared to their male counterparts, particularly in a male-dominated industry. The new law in Massachusetts will not necessarily address this because employers will still be able to make value judgements, based or influenced by gender, about what a potential candidate is worth and what they are willing to pay, without knowing what they were earning previously.