It’s ridiculous to think in 2017, we still have to debate the Gender Pay Gap. Will new government legislation bring us closer to equal pay?

As employers with 250 staff or more get ready to publish their average gender pay gap figures for both basic salary and bonus payments, research by the CIPD found that only one in four firms have yet to perform any analysis at all. The regulations mean that employers have a year from April 2017 to publish the statutory calculations to both their own and the government’s website.

Comparing like-for-like roles is incredibly complex when bringing factors such as level of experience, length of service, and specialist skills into the mix

Why are employers reluctant?

Some employers argue that the average pay statistics could be misleading given that men and women doing completely different jobs and hours in any organisation might drive the pay differences.

Others (most likely the ones who have something to hide), are fearful of how the results will impact the morale of their workforce and their business reputation, not to mention customer perception and potential future recruits. The information won’t be enough on its own to make a claim against an employer, but the results might encourage employees to dig deeper and then potentially challenge their employer for the right to “equal pay for equal work”.

Or employers may simply be reluctant because they don’t have HR software to provide the data and analytics.

Also, some think it may actually worsen the problem by discouraging women from pursuing a career in an industry where they are already under-represented. Financial services, science, technology and engineering to name a few.

Who thought league tables were a good idea?

Not only are employers fearful of what the stats will show, they also face the risk of being published on the government’s league table which will ‘name and shame’ the organisations with large pay gaps. The threat of the league tables means that some companies might not come clean about their true gender pay gap statistics.

What will this actually achieve?

Once a business has the stats, what are they supposed to do? Should they automatically give a pay rise to all the women affected? Or level down men’s pay to match their female peers (highly unlikely)! And what do they base this on? Comparing like-for-like roles is incredibly complex when bringing factors such as level of experience, length of service, and specialist skills into the mix. 

Equal pay for men and women

Gender Pay Gap reporting could be a useful tool, not to remove the gap completely, but to provide a better understanding and awareness. It should help employers find solutions to reducing the gap in a way that is right for promoting their organisation values and culture.

The Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 – Need some help?

Tassic can help support you with this new Regulation by:

  • Raising internal awareness and readiness to publish results by 4 April 2018
  • Identifying who needs to be included in the report i.e. workers and self-employed people
  • Understanding all the factors that contribute to the gender pay gap
  • Putting together a narrative to accompany the published information. Although this is not compulsory, it would put your organisation results and future plans into context
  • Providing analysis and supporting strategic change initiatives
  • Helping companies select and implement HR software solutions