The gender pay gap is defined as the average difference between men’s and women’s aggregate hourly earnings. In 2016 this stood at 9.4% for full-time employees and a staggering 18.1% for all workers. It’s not just an issue that affects UK workers, but as a nation we have a massive problem to address: the World Economic Forum’s Gender Pay Gap Index has the UK in 20th place.
The new reporting regulations apply to both public and private sector organisations with 250 or more employees. It is estimated that this will affect around 9,000 employers and account for nearly half of the UK workforce.
The gender pay gap shouldn’t be confused with equal pay: it is already a legal requirement to ensure that anyone, regardless of their gender, age, ethnicity or ability is paid the same amount to do the same job.
Under the new regulations, employers must publish the following information:
Firms have until April 2018 to publish their first report which is based on a “snapshot” of their employee pay on 5th April 2017, or 31st March 2017 for public sector organisations.
Over the last few months as we’ve awaited the launch of the new legislation, there has been a lot in the news about gender pay differences. Back in September, accountancy firm Deloitte reported that the hourly pay gap between men and women was narrowing by just two and a half pence a year, suggesting it will take until 2069 for the pay gap to close.
In March we heard that Iceland is planning to become the first country to require companies with more than 25 employees to prove they offer equal pay (based on gender or any other demographic). Also in March, the charity Fawcett Society produced a report that showed that in some ethnic groups (Caribbean and white Irish), the gender pay gap was actually reversed, with women earning on average more than men.
The Gender Pay Reporting Regulations are exactly what they say they are: as things stand they only serve to make public the information about how differing rates of average pay for men and women. There is no legal requirement to ensure that the median levels of pay are equal, although it’s fair to say many businesses may feel shamed into a moral obligation. Many are calling for the UK to follow Iceland’s lead (which incidentally has the world’s smallest pay gap) and introduce legislation to prove there is no discrimination between men and women. We’ll keep you posted on any further developments.
If you are affected by the new regulations, Park City can help you with your gender pay gap reporting. Even if you’re not required to disclose, we can help with any concerns you might have about equal pay within your organisation. Contact our HR experts today.
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