The Government’s wage transparency tool: what is it, and how could you best use it?

April 15, 2015


The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is to launch an online tool, the National Minimum Wage Accelerator. The aim is that the increased transparency will see the wages of people on low pay increase.

The information will be made available online through the National Minimum Wage Accelerator, giving businesses and individuals unprecedented clarity around pay levels.

The data will display information about pay in full-time and part-time roles across every level in every sector. Users will be able to see general pay trends across the UK, as well as being equipped with factual data that will enable them to discuss their pay with their own employers.

How can you best use this new tool?

Sara Sawicki Says:

When announcing the tool, Vince Cable stated that “The minimum wage system is necessary and right, but is a minimum by definition.”

Mr Cable went on to say “Good employers want to be responsible and reward their staff as much as they can afford in order to attract the best people and have a happy, motivated and productive workforce”.

The purpose of the tool is to therefore increase the wages of low paid workers, by giving them and their employers transparency about what others are being paid.

Whilst Mr Cable’s aims are laudable, I don’t believe that this tool will, in reality, encourage employers to increase their own employees’ pay. The information might be helpful to trade unions, which are seeking to increase their members’ pay. However, trade unions are generally clued up about pay in the sectors that they represent in any event.

Cynics will say that the tool is nothing more than a gesture and that the only way to genuinely increase low pay is to introduce a living wage, which the Labour party is committed to doing.

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