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Gender Pay Gap Reporting

New regulations came into force on 6th April that require larger companies in Britain to publish their gender pay gap figures for the first time.

Closing the Gender Pay Gap

Voluntary, private and public sector employers with 250 or more employees will be required to publish their figures by April 2018. The regulations will apparently cover approximately 9,000 employers with over 15 million employees, representing nearly half of the UK’s workforce.

According to the Government, the new measure is a key part of its work to eliminate the gender pay gap, which currently sits at 18.1%, and will help employers to identify the gaps in their organisations and take action to close their gender pay gap.

Requirements of the Regulations

As part of the new regulations, employers will be required to:

  • Publish their median gender pay gap figures. By identifying the wage of the middle earner, the median is the best representation of the ‘typical’ gender difference. Employers will be asked to use data from a ‘snapshot’ period in April to calculate this average.
  • Publish their mean gender pay gap figures. By taking into account the full earnings distribution, the mean takes into account the low and high earners in an organisation – this is particularly useful as women are often over-represented at the low earning extreme and men are over-represented at the high earning extreme.
  • Publish the proportion of men & women in each quartile of the pay structure. This data will show the spread of male and female earners across an organisation, helping to show employers where women’s progress might be stalling so they can take action to support their career development.
  • Publish the gender pay gaps for any bonuses paid out during the year. As there is a significant issue around bonus payments in some sectors, employers will also have to publish the proportion of male and proportion of female employees that received a bonus during the year.

Employers will also be encouraged to publish an action plan alongside their figures, demonstrating the steps they will take to close the gender pay gap within their organisation.

Reaction to the Requirement

Equality charity, the Fawcett Society, has welcomed the new reporting requirement.

“This is the most significant legal change since the Equal Pay Act and we strongly welcome it,” said Fawcett Chief Executive Sam Smethers. “For the first time large employers will be required to calculate and publish their gender pay gap.”

“Employers should see it as an opportunity not a threat,” she added. “Through gender pay gap reporting they can address the productivity gap and get the best person for the job at the right level. But we won’t close the gender pay gap until we truly enable fathers to share the care of their children, make all jobs flexible working unless there is a good business reason not to, and address the harmful segregation in our labour market which sees women concentrated in low paid work while men dominate higher paid or more senior roles.”

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

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