You may remember the media furore when the BBC published the salaries of male and female top earners in their annual report earlier this year. This very public reaction to gender pay differentials highlights the emphasis that the media are placing on pay parity and the serious reputational risk of getting it wrong.
Less than 500 employers out of the thousands of employers who need to comply with these regulations have published to date. With only four months to go until all organisations, private, public or voluntary sector, with 250 or more employees need to publish their Gender Pay Gap calculations, we ask – are you ready?
Key steps for employers to take now
- Extract the right data.
- Make the calculations.
- Publish the results* (by 30 March for public sector employers, by 4 April for private and voluntary employers).
- Consider and decide upon the use of a supporting voluntary narrative.
- Kick off a gender pay gap action plan.
* Employers have to publish on their own website and on the Government portal - www.gov.uk/report-gender-pay-gap-data
Employers will have access to relevant pay data already as the date by which snapshot pay data had to be collected has already passed. If you have not already completed your calculations, you should carry out this out now as your data will not change. However, you still have a chance to review your gender pay figures and consider your plans for closing the gap.
The GEO (Government Equalities Office) and CMI (Chartered Management Institute) have suggested that employers consider identifying and committing to three priority actions for their organisations in the next 12 months to redress any issues identified.
Based on our experience of advising companies who have already worked on their action plans, initiatives that companies could consider to meet that suggestion might include:
- Offer flexible working by default to all employees.
- Remove recruitment bias.
- Offer enhanced pay for all family leave.
- Carry out pay and reward reviews.
- Support sponsorship and mentoring schemes.
Employers need to remember that gender pay gap reporting is now an annual requirement and progress on closing the gap will be expected every year. Whilst there is no financial penalty for not publishing, the EHRC (Equality and Human Rights Commission) will be able to issue court orders to those employers who do not report on time and not publishing will be considered unlawful. The media is likely to take a close interest in any company who misses the deadline. They will be asking – what have you got to hide?
If you are struggling to crunch your numbers RSM has an innovative gender pay calculator tool to help and we can provide independent verification of figures if you have already completed your calculations.
If you are concerned by the results you have produced, we can help with producing the voluntary narrative which is useful for messaging internally and externally and we can advise on key priority steps for taking positive action towards greater gender pay parity in your organisation.
Don’t leave it too late – act now and ensure you aren’t at risk.
Please contact Kerri Constable for more information and support.