“Only 1 in 3 understand what the Gender Pay Gap is” YouGov Survey

Two thirds of people have misinterpreted the Gender Pay Gap to be the difference in what men and women get paid to do the same job; this is in fact “Equal Pay” and has been unlawful since 1970. The Gender Pay gap is the difference in average pay between men and women in a whole workforce and came into force in April 2017.

Where did the Gender Pay Gap come from?

The Institute of Fiscal Studies reported that “on average, a gap of over 10% exists between men and women before the arrival of a first child. There is then a gradual but continual rise in the wage gap and by the time the first chid is 12 years old a women’s hourly wage is a third below men’s”  IFS (2016) The Gender Wage Gap

The BBC scandal brought the Gender Wage Gap to everyone’s attention and highlighted the need to do something about the difference in men and women’s pay across a workforce as a whole.

Gender Pay reporting

It is a requirement for all employers with a headcount of 250 or more to publish their gender pay information. The 250 figure is ‘actual’ headcount not full time equivalent.

You must publish the data to your own website and to the government website, there are specific calculations you must display plus a narrative to help those reading the data understand why you have a pay gap and what you are doing to close it. The different calculations are shown below and the narrative should be signed by an appropriate senior person.

  1. The mean gender pay gap
  2. The median gender pay gap
  3. The mean bonus gender pay gap
  4. The median bonus gender pay gap
  5. Your proportion of males and females receiving a bonus payment
  6. Your proportion of males and females in each quartile band

ACAS provide a document that gives the exact calculations to be able to get these figures.

You must publish these figures annually using the snapshot date of 5th April to be compliant; failure to do so will be classed as unlawful and may also have a significant impact on the reputation of your business. The information published is available to the public and there is a search tool on the government website.

Compliance and the benefits

Publishing this data makes you compliant but the next step should be to look at your data and see how you can close the gap to benefit your business. There are several benefits to a business taking action including;

  • Communicate to existing staff that an employer is committed to building a diverse and inclusive workforce
  • Helps a business monitor pay, bonus and career progression irrespective of gender; in turn a more valued workforce demonstrate productivity and reduce costs associated with high turnover.
  • A well written narrative detailing the businesses approach and commitment to closing any existing gender pay gap is likely to attract a wider pool of candidates for vacancies
  • Similarly a well written narrative will be of interest to potential clients who are looking to work with businesses who are ‘ethical’ or ‘fair’

How to close the gap

The ways in which a business can close their gender pay will vary from business to business; some generic action are listed below. It is unlikely that any changes will be immediate and the gap may not completely close however demonstrating that the gap is on the agenda for your business will be highly beneficial.

  • Ensure there is support for those with childcare commitments to be able to apply for or be promote into the higher earning roles within an organisation
  • Remove stereotypes that there are certain gender specific roles within an organisation
  • Implement strategies based on the published data that become part of the businesses day to day working
  • Making recruitment processes as objective as possible taking out any opportunity for gender bias

If you have any questions on the above please do not hesitate to contact us