Stacey McIntosh from Sage tells us about the new legislation around the gender pay gap and what you’re required to do.
For the past 12 months, in the run-up to new legislation, the gender pay gap has been at the forefront of discussions in business and of how organisations must work to close the gap as they scramble to report their figures.
Since April 2018, all employers with 250 employees or more are required to publish their gender pay gap data every year.
But, what actually is the gender pay gap, what can we do to address any imbalance and what does it mean for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)?
What is the gender pay gap?
The gender pay gap refers to the average amount of money men and women earn in the workplace on an hourly basis.
The difference in the gender pay gap reflects how many men hold higher-paid positions in comparison to women.
What is the difference between gender pay gap and equal pay?
The gender pay gap is not to be confused with equal pay, which refers to the legal requirement that men and women must be paid the same amount for similar work.
Why is there a gender pay gap?
The difference in the amount of money that men and women earn cannot be attributed to one distinct factor. However, the predominant reasons for a disparity are generally considered to be:
- The male domination of higher-paid sectors such as science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) together with law and finance.
- A male dominance in more senior roles.
- More women working part time and taking time out for maternity leave and care responsibilities.
- Stereotypes within the workplace, cultures that lead to a conscious or unconscious bias against women.
Why do employers have to publish their data?
The reason that a company has to report their data is to help identify any gaps between men and women in the workforce with a view to understanding why they exist and identifying any issues that are causing the gap.
The legislation is not predominantly about discrimination but is about taking positive action.
If women are working in more part-time roles, then flexible working hours or remote-working opportunities would help to support the external commitments that women may have.
Or, offering more support to women in lower-level positons with training opportunities and encouragement for managerial and mentorship for director roles could address an imbalance.
“Gender pay gap reporting is an incredibly important step forward, because if companies are transparent about gender pay and the root causes behind any gap, they can find the solutions they need to build businesses that work for their employees and reflect the communities they serve.” – Helen Rose, chief operating officer, TSB
What should employers publish and when?
All companies with 250 or more employees (on the snapshot date) must complete and submit their gender pay gap data.
This includes employers in:
- Private sector and listed companies
- Voluntary sector
- The public sector
The snapshot dates are:
- 31 March for public sector employers
- 4 April for private and voluntary sector employers
The data that must be gathered for reporting is outlined here…
Required gender pay gap data is reported here…
If you are legally bound to report your gender pay gap data and don’t, then you are liable to enforcement action from the Equality and Human Rights Commission, outlined here…
If you want more information you can Read the full post on the Sage blog here
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