The Gender Pay Gap was a topic we heard plenty about in 2018 when over 10,500 companies publicly reported their figures for the first time. Whilst there were many facts found in these reports, overall they showed that, on average, a woman in the UK today is most likely working at a company which pays men more than women.
This was just the beginning, as it is now time for private companies and charities with more than 250 employees to take stock again, review progress, and prepare their annual Gender Pay Gap snapshot as at 5th April 2018 and report by 4th April 2019. It is likely these numbers will invariably prove if any productive steps have been taken to tackle their gender pay issues and for many the crucial test will be the reports and industry comparatives that will follow alongside a challenging PR backdrop.
Understanding and Telling Your Own Story
Many predict that the numbers are not going to be much better this year as the majority of issues driving pay gaps require a longer-term approach to demonstrate impact. That said, there are a number of actions employers can take to tackle gender pay inequality, including offering more flexible hours, senior part-time roles and also encouraging the uptake of Shared Parental Leave. Organisational circumstances will be different of course, but being able to demonstrate a clear understanding of the causes and committing to meaningful action which will reduce those gaps over time is key.
Whilst 25% of reporting companies from 2018 chose not to provide any form of narrative to explain their figures, we would always advise on telling your own story. The results of pay equality are increasingly impacting brand perception and the ability to attract, retain and drive employee engagement, so this upfront approach will avoid others doing it for you.
Your Data Has Value
The government has said it expects most employers to take five years to come to terms with the legislation and demonstrate real progress. However, as we are well into the second year of reporting, it is important that your business is not left behind, so address the key challenges now by efficiently gathering and understanding your data.
To achieve this it is crucial to find a partner who provides a solution which will integrate with your HR and payroll data sources, calculate the required statistics and create a comprehensive management tool and suite of reports. This approach, combined with the use of dashboard technology, regular review and measurement throughout the year can keep businesses focused on managing and reducing any gender pay gaps.
For more information please contact Gary Johnstone, (firstname.lastname@example.org) or your usual AAB contact.
To find out more about Gary and the Payroll and Employment Taxes team, click here.