Gender pay gap reporting: the deadline has passed

The gender pay gap has gained significant attention over the recent months due to the publication of gender pay gap reports becoming a legal requirement for some organisations. Private and voluntary organisations with over 250 employees were legally required to publish their gender pay gap reports by 4 April 2018 – this is now an annual requirement for such organisations. 

The published gender pay gap reports can be found on the organisations’ websites or alternatively you can find them by clicking here.

These reports should all include the following calculations:

  • mean gender pay gap in hourly pay;
  • median gender pay gap in hourly pay;
  • mean bonus gender pay gap;
  • median bonus gender pay gap;
  • proportion of males and females receiving a bonus payment; and
  • proportion of males and females in each pay quartile.
Is there a gender pay gap?

Over 10,000 organisations published their gender pay gap reports by the required deadline. Various bodies have now collated this data and have analysed the findings. Among those organisations who published their gender pay gap reports on time, an average of 78% have been reported to pay men more than women. Only 8% of the organisations said they had no gender pay gap between men and women and 14% had a gender pay gap in favour of women.

What does the data tell us?

An organisation’s gender pay gap report will enable it to understand whether there is gender inequality within its workplace. A significant gender pay gap within an organisation may appear to reveal discrimination against women, however, it may in actual fact highlight disparities between seniority of roles held by men and women, a high proportion of women being in part-time work and/or the loss of women in the workplace following maternity leave.

There is a danger that individuals may confuse these findings with the equal pay gap. The equal pay gap relates to the difference in pay between men and women where they perform the same or similar jobs, whereas the gender pay gap relates to the difference between the average pay for men and women within an organisation, irrespective of their jobs. The Equality Act 2010 gives men and women a right to equal pay for equal work and therefore any inequality in relation to this is illegal.

Consequences for failure to publish gender pay gap report

An obvious consequence for an organisation who fails to publish its gender pay gap report is damage to its reputation.  The avoidance of publishing this report suggests that an organisation does not want to admit to there being any significant gender inequality within its workplace.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has warned that organisations who fail to publish their gender pay gaps could be pursued though the courts and subject to an unlimited fine. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has also issued a warning to organisations and has threatened enforcement action against those who fail to publish their reports.

Approximately 1,500 organisations failed to publish a gender pay gap report by the required deadline. The ECHR has suggested that it will publish details of any enforcement action taken to discourage continued non-compliance.

The future

Now that organisations have published their gender pay gap reports the onus will be on them to tighten their respective gender pay gaps in time for the next deadline.

The law and practice referred to in this article or webinar has been paraphrased or summarised. It might not be up-to-date with changes in the law and we do not guarantee the accuracy of any information provided at the time of reading. It should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice in relation to a specific set of circumstances.

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