A Hartlepool businesswoman has welcomed moves to name and shame companies which pay men more than women for doing the same job.
But Janice Auton said it was a shame such a move was necessary at all.
Janice, who runs the Poppys beauty salons, said: “I pay the same to people who have the same roles and the same responsibilities.
“It is amazing to me in this day and age there is still a difference.
“When you employ someone, you employ them for their skills, you employ them for what they can bring to the business.
“What’s the difference between men and women when it comes to pay?”
The Government yesterday unveiled plans to make companies with more than 250 employees publish the gap between average earnings for male and female employees.
Prime Minister David Cameron said the move would highlight the issue: “The North East has a record over half a million females in employment, but we need to go further if we are to see genuine gender equality in Britain’s workforce.
The new rules would ‘cast sunlight on the discrepancies and create the pressure we need for change, driving women’s wages up,’ said Mr Cameron.
“Our aim is to fundamentally rebalance our economy – to transform Britain from a high-welfare, high-tax, low-pay economy into a lower-welfare, lower-tax, higher-pay society.
“Higher pay is something we want for everyone. The National Living Wage, will primarily help women, who tend to be in lower paid jobs. It will help close the gender pay gap. But we need to go further.”