Gender pay reporting

When International Women’s Day took place on March 8, the topic of gender diversity, and most notably, the gender pay gap, once again came under the spotlight. Currently, the pay gap stands at 14.2%, meaning that women earn 80p for every £1 men earn and this disparity has only been intensified by the postponement of the compulsory reporting of gender pay differentiation within listed companies.

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A 2006 report conducted by the University of Nottingham found that companies explain their reporting decisions based on three drivers: market, civil society and government. Coupled with the firm specific organisational factors, poor performance and anxieties about misuse of data it is not a surprise that in 2011 only 7% of companies reported on gender diversity.

As of yet only voluntary government policies are in place. At the start of its implementation in 2011, the ‘Think Act Report’ scheme recorded just 3.7% of firms reporting on the gender pay gap internally, and a tiny 1.3% outlining their results publicly. Since then, the scheme has been adopted by over 250 companies, including household names such as Tesco, easyJet and M&S.

2018, however, signals change within annual reporting. The postponed implementation of disclosures outlining the pay discrepancies between men and women will ensure that firms with more than 250 employees will have to reveal how much they are paying in salaries and bonuses. The 8,000 firms will have to outline the figures for each pay range and then ensure the collected information is available online.

To support the implementation of these policies the Government is allowing £500,000 to create a support package for UK businesses. This will include UK wide conferences, free online software and targeted support for male dominated sectors.

The accumulation of this information will result in a league table displaying the best and worst companies for pay discrepancies. Ann Francke, Chief Executive of the Chartered Management Institute has stated that by publishing these tables it will, “drive diversity, bringing benefits not just to women but to business.”

The 2018 introduction of this mandatory reporting will enable businesses to communicate any pay gaps within their company - should they have any - and will enable individuals to have the evidence they require to achieve equal pay. However, the task of ensuring this information is communicated clearly and effectively is going to be a difficult step to manage. If you need help disclosing this information, contact us to see how we can help.