Early this year, draft Regulations will be published by the Government that will call for larger employers to publish information detailing any differences in gender pay. Information about variations in pay between men and women will have to be provided and this will need to include a single annual figure setting out the gender pay gap and the method by which the calculations have been made.
There is also likely to be a second reporting tier which will outline the gender bonus gap. Employers will have the opportunity to include commentary on the factors that contribute to their gender pay gap, and any measures being taken to close the gap.
Who Will Gender Pay Gap Reporting Affect?
All private, public and voluntary sector employers in England, Wales and Scotland that employ 250 or more personnel will be affected by the Regulations. Businesses on the borderline with employee numbers will need to take note of the Regulations so that they are ready to comply when the time comes. Smaller businesses may also wish to take note of the information being published, as it could well affect them at a point in the future, and may influence their pay structures.
When Will Gender Pay Gap Reporting Start?
Watch this space. There is no precise date as yet and it is likely the reporting requirement will be phased in, starting with larger employers.
What Does ‘Gender Pay Gap’ Mean?
According to the Equal Pay Portal, the gender pay gap is ‘a calculation of the difference in the average earnings of the women and men in any given population’. Basically it is the difference in average hourly earnings of male and female full time employees.
The Office for National Statistics has published figures stating that women in the UK earn on average 19 per cent less than men. The new Regulations aim to eliminate gender inequality and take down the barriers that are in the way of women’s success.
It has been illegal for more than four decades to pay women and men varying rates of pay for equal or similar work. The Government says the pay gap exists mainly amongst older workings and reflects ‘the types of jobs that women tend to enter, and the levels of seniority they progress to’.
How Should I Prepare for Gender Pay Gap Reporting?
Ahead of the Regulations being introduced, it is a good idea to conduct an equal pay audit on an informal basis. This will help you identify potential issues in advance, and will give you time to take steps to address the issues.
As soon as the Regulations are introduced and there is clearer information about employers’ requirements, we’ll let you know. In the meantime, talking to your bookkeepers will help you with your equal pay audit.