Employers criticised over gender pay gap reports

29 / 01 / 2018

Fewer than 6% of organisations have submitted their gender pay information ahead of the 5 April 2018 deadline, according to a Financial Times report on 7 January 2018.

Employers in Great Britain with more than 250 employees are required by law to publish the following information on their own website and the Government’s gender pay website:

  • gender pay gap (mean and median averages);
  • gender bonus gap (mean and median averages);
  • proportion of men and women in each quartile receiving bonuses; and
  • proportion of men and women in each quartile of the organisation’s pay structure.

Inaccuracies

Furthermore, in December 2017, the Financial Times reported that “one in 20 UK companies that have submitted gender pay gap data … have reported numbers that are statistically improbable and therefore almost certainly inaccurate”. They went on to “name and shame” a number of businesses whose data they said was inaccurate. The newspaper subsequently reported in January 2018 that, after its investigation, six employers had updated their published information.

You can also see what information employers have published so far on the gender pay gap viewing service website.

Although there are currently no sanctions for non-compliance, businesses could face significant reputational damage if they fail to publish accurate information or indeed any information at all.  The EHRC is currently lobbying for sanctions to be introduced.

Action plans

In working with our clients, we often advise them to go beyond the minimum requirements of the regulations and to develop and publish an action plan alongside the figures on their website, demonstrating what steps will be taken to eliminate any gender pay gap.  This can be important in terms of credibility and reputational management.  We all know how the BBC’s China editor, Carrie Gracie, made front page news very recently when she quit her job over the BBC’s failure to deal with their policy of “unlawful pay discrimination”.  Although her complaint was simple, she had apparently made no progress through the conventional channel of bringing a grievance.

For our previous bulletin on the detail of gender pay gap reporting, please click here.