"What is your current salary, and what are your salary expectations?"  is a commonly asked interview question and one that candidates are unlikely to be surprised by. But should this common question be banned?

The problem with this question is that the figures that the candidate reveals are then likely to act as a guideline as to the salary level that the candidate would accept were they offered a job. 

Asking the "salary question" can therefore mean that women who are underpaid in their current role, continue to be underpaid in their next role, which may have a part to play in the UK's current gender pay gap. 

The gender pay gap is the difference between the average hourly wage paid to men and the average hourly wage paid to women and is currently 18.4% in the UK according to the Office for National Statistics. 

The Young Women's Trust, a charity supporting young women on low or no pay, has called for UK companies to ban the "salary question" - as is now the case for companies in New York and California. The Trust also encourages companies to include salary details in job adverts to improve pay transparency. 

There are many reasons why the gender pay gap exists and much work to be done before it is closed. Improving pay transparency and ensuring that your employees are paid based on merit and what they can offer to the business is one step towards this.