It's been 50 years since the Equal Pay Act, but discrepancies in pay remain significant. Which is why gender pay gap reporting is more important than ever.
Gender pay gap statistics
The need for more transparency and institutional change becomes alarmingly clear when you look at the following statistics:
- It will take 60 years to achieve gender pay parity according to the TUC
- The gender pay gap for all employees fell slightly in 2019 to 17.3%, but this still means that women wait 63 days before they start to get paid according to TUC analysis
- They also report that on average, women earn 28% less (£12,500) than men by their 50's
- For every £1 earned by a man, a woman earns 83p
- However, the picture is improving in larger companies, a decade ago only 12.5% of leaders were women, now 33% of FTSE 100 board directors are women although only 15% of finance directors
How to ensure gender pay gap reporting compliance
The gender pay gap reporting duty was outlined in the draft Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2016 and came into force on April 6th 2017. Its aim is to incentivise boards to take gender diversity seriously.
Under these rules, companies with over 250 employees are required to publish details of their gender pay gap and gender bonus gap annually. Firms must also calculate and publish the gender bonus gap, the proportion of men and women who get a bonus, and the proportion of men and women working at each quartile of the firm's pay distribution.
With this in mind, we have eight simples steps for you to follow to ensure that your gender pay gap reporting is compliant:
1. Assess your gender pay data collection
Are you gathering information on gross hourly rates, paid leave, overtime expenses and maternity pay etc? Think about what infrastructure, procedures and resources you'll need to adopt so that the right information is routinely collected and collated.
2. Review and update related policies
Review your existing policies (such as enhanced paternity leave or shared parental leave, bullying and harassment, flexible working, promotion, training and development) and decide whether they should be updated to rectify any gender pay gap.
3. Act early
It is possible that data will reveal flaws or shortcomings in existing policies. By getting the data as soon as possible, you'll be able to address potential issues swiftly.
4. Plan for the future
The Think Future survey by KPMG found that 55% of female undergraduates (compared with 27% of males) are influenced by a sector's attitude to gender diversity when job seeking. So, make sure you think longer term about how you're going to attract female talent and reduce the gender pay gap in future, so women are better represented at all levels of your company.
5. Set gender pay targets
'What gets measured gets done', right? While you won't be able to transform your workplace overnight, you should start by setting realistic targets in key areas to bring about improvements. Targets can also increase accountability.
6. Get the 'tone from the top' right
Senior management and board 'buy in' can make a huge difference. Consider how best to ensure equal representation at all levels, including at senior management and on the board.
7. Change company culture
Explore other ways of supporting women - for example, via training, mentoring, offering flexible working hours as standard, creche facilities, and shared parental leave - so you attract and retain top female talent.
8. Tackle unconscious bias
Avoid stereotyping or making assumptions based on gender or maternity which might limit opportunity. If you are not sure, ask!
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