Gender Pay Gap Reporting – where we are now

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gender pay gap, employment law, solicitors, legal

Cast your mind back two years and on 6th April 2017, employers with more than 250 employees were obliged to produce gender pay gap reports.  Two years on, how has this new obligation impacted the differences in salaries between genders?

Historically it has been the case that men, on average, are paid more than their female counterparts.  This was/is due to a higher number of female workers work part time, while their male counterparts tend to work in those roles full time.

The Government therefore proposed an initiative to close this gap, by making it mandatory for employers to publish information relating to their gender pay gap.

This reporting requirement falls annually in April and gives employers the opportunity to analyse their gender pay gap each year.  However, on its first anniversary in 2018, around 1,500 employers missed the deadline.  The reasons are unknown and we expect it ranges from employers still not being aware of their obligations, not realising it is an annual requirement, or due to the lack of enforcement action in not complying on time.

With the deadline for 2019 just passing, the results are in.  Has this requirement made an impact I hear you ask?  Sadly not, as the gender pay gap has widened in favour of men. This is not an anti-male workers article, the same would be said if the imbalance was the other way around.

However, the Government are aware and are proposing actions to close the gap, such as:

  • encouraging salary negotiation with employers communicating a salary range to encourage women to negotiate their salary;
  • appointing diversity managers/task forces to manage and monitor diversity in the company;
  • using skill-based assessments in interviews, to enable a decision to be made on the candidates’ performance and not just responses to questions

The Government website sets out further actions (see here) and explains there are policies in place, and evaluations are taking place to understand their effectiveness.  The ECHR (Equality and Human Rights Commission) also make recommendations on their website (see here).

However, in our opinion, other than a reporting mechanism, unless employers are made aware of these actions, will any difference be made?  With equality becoming more and more forefront in employers’ minds, we hope so.

If you want to check your firm’s gender pay gap reporting, it is available from the Governments Gender Pay Gap Service website.

If you are an employer who would like further information, please contact us on legal@swancraig.co.uk.

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