Gender Pay Gap

Gender Pay Gap

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Compulsory gender pay gap reporting to be introduced in April

From April, 8,000 large companies, that collectively represent 11% of the UK’s workforce, will need to report various statistics regarding the extent of the gender pay gap within their organisations.

The Government Equalities Office defines the gender pay gap as “an equality measure that shows the difference in average earnings between women and men,” and says that it currently stands at 18%, its lowest ever level.

Companies with 250 or more employees will need to publish the following on their company website, and on a government website:

  • Their average gender pay gap as both a mean and a median average
  • Their average bonus gender pay gap as a mean and a median average
  • The proportion of male employees and the proportion of female employees receiving bonus payments
  • The proportion of male and female employees who fall into four specified pay bands

If they wish, the company can also publish supporting information to explain the reasons for the results, and to explain what actions they are taking on this issue. For example, a company might choose to explain how they are increasing flexible working, or how they are encouraging women to put themselves forward for senior roles.

It should be noted that this is not the same issue as ‘equal pay’, i.e. paying men and women the same for carrying out the same work, or work of equal value. Unequal pay in this regard has been illegal in the UK for some 45 years. The gender pay gap is simply the difference between the average earnings of men and women employees, regardless of what roles they carry out.

Ahead of the introduction of the new rules, conciliation service Acas has teamed up with the Government Equalities Office to issue guidance on this issue, and the guidance can be viewed on the Acas website.

Acas Chief Executive, Anne Sharp, said:

“Compulsory gender pay reporting is fast approaching. The new requirement provides a great opportunity for organisations to look at the issue in depth and to consider whether they can do more to develop their talented women and secure the benefits of greater gender diversity at all levels.

“The UK has made progress in reducing the gender pay gap but we still have lots to do – tackling the issue is in the interests of individuals, organisations and the economy as a whole.”

Minister for Women and Equalities, Caroline Dinenage MP, said:

“No one should ever be held back just because of their gender. We now have the lowest gender pay gap on record, but we still have to push further.

“Shining a light on the gaps is absolutely key to achieving equality in the workplace, which is why we are introducing requirements on all large employers to publish their gender pay and bonus data from April.”

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