Gender Pay Gap Reporting – summary of progress so far
The Government Equalities Office has published its Interim Gender Pay Gap Employer Insights Survey (October 2018) and a separate Gender Pay Gap Information Regulations 2017: Summary of Reported Data from 2017/2018 (October 2018). These reports contain some interesting if not unsurprising statistics arising out of the first year’s gender pay gap reports.
Some of the key statistics from the Summary of Reported Data:
- 100% of identified organisations had complied with the reporting obligations as of 1 August 2018 (although there have been some criticisms of the accuracy of the figures published by some organisations).
- 77% of organisations reported a positive (i.e. in favour of men) median gender pay gap and 88% reported a positive median gender pay gap.
- 53% of reported median bonus gaps were positive and 62% of reported mean bonus gaps were positive.
- 57% of reporting employers had more women than men among their lowest paid employees but only 33% had more women than men among their highest paid employees.
- As of May 2018, 48% of employers had published an action plan outlining the steps they plan to take to address the gender pay gap in their organisation.
The Office for National Statistics has also recently published its latest analysis of the gender pay gap in its report Gender Pay Gap in the UK: 2018 showing that the overall gender pay gap among full-time employees fell from 9.1% in 2017 to 8.6% in 2018.
There has been some criticism of the effectiveness of the gender pay gap reporting obligations and the House of Commons’ Business, Energy and Industry Strategy Committee (BEIS) recently issued a Report on Gender pay Gap Reporting (2 August 2018) making a number of recommendations about the gender pay gap reporting regulations, including:
- A requirement for organisations to publish an explanatory narrative and action plan for closing the gender pay gap.
- A widening of the net from the current threshold of 250 employees to cover organisations with over 50 employees.
- Clarifying the reporting requirements to ensure equity partners are included in the figures.
While this report demonstrates there is clearly scope for improvement to the regulations, we do at least now have a benchmark against which we can measure progress in years to come.
The reporting process has also brought the issues of gender pay disparity to the attention of employers and employees alike and it is no longer possible for organisations to regard a high gender pay gap as inevitable and to simply accept the status quo. One of the statistics quoted above is that as of May 2018, 48% of employers had published an action plan outlining the steps they plan to take to address the gender pay gap in their organisation. This demonstrates an increase from December 2017/2018, when according to the Insights Survey only 32% of employers had developed a formal action plan.
Similarly, the Insights Survey reported that as December 2017/January 2018, 35% of in-scope private sector employers regarded reducing their gender pay gap to be a high priority against a lower figure of 24% from an earlier Baseline survey from March/April 2017. This perhaps shows an increasing awareness amongst employers that a large gender pay gap can lead to negative perceptions of that organisation by both clients and employees and that increasing numbers of employers are now taking steps to address this.
This is undoubtedly the sign of some, if slow progress already and with the yearly publication of data it will be interesting to see the effectiveness of these plans in years to come.
Please also note we are holding a seminar on 28 November 2018 “Mind the Gap – Are we moving closer to true gender balance at work?” where we will be looking at some practical steps employers can take to attract and retain women in management and leadership roles to have a positive impact in reducing gender disparity in the workplace. For further information and to reserve your free place, please complete the online booking form..