Findings from the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) show the gender pay gap currently stands at 17.2% and the EOC is calling on the government to modernise existing laws.
The Commission wants employers to take proactive measures to close the pay gap and complete equality checks to assess if action is needed.
Jenny Watson, EOC chairman, said: ‘The pay gap isn’t closing fast enough. We need new legal thinking if we are to tackle this stubborn inequality and speed up the pace of change.
‘We need a new generation of laws placing a more active responsibility on employers to deliver equality for tomorrow’s generation.’
The government is currently reviewing all anti-discrimination legislation and a Green Paper is expected early next year.