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Gender pay equality 53 years away

At the current rate of progress, gender pay equality will not be achieved for another 53 years based on current progress a recent report indicates.

Analysis of figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) suggests that the difference in the hourly pay gap between men and women - currently £1.30 per hour - is closing at a rate of just 2.5 pence per year.  In some sectors the gap is actually widening.

Without further action, the gap will not close until 2069 according to professional services firm, Deloitte, who produced the report.   

The report noted that salaries are more balanced in science and technology roles and suggested that more women be encouraged into these sectors, where they currently make up less than 15% of the workforce.

New reporting regulations

The report will serve as a timely reminder that the gender pay gap is likely to remain a focus of attention in the coming months.  Employers will be aware that the new gender pay reporting regulations are expected to be published later in the autumn.

The regulations will require employers with 250 or more relevant employees to publish a range of data relating to those employees' pay based on gender, including the headline gender pay gap (the average difference between men’s and women’s average hourly earnings shown as a percentage of men's earnings).

As currently drafted, the regulations will require employers to publish the following on an annual basis with first publication required by 30 April 2018 (based on figures as at 30 April 2017): 

  • Overall mean and median gender pay gap figures calculated using average hourly pay (snapshot as at 30 April). 
  • The numbers of men and women in each of four pay bands (quartiles), based on the employer's overall pay range (snapshot as at 30 April). 
  • Mean bonus pay gap (in the 12 months preceding 30 April).
  • Proportion of male and female employees that received a bonus (in the 12 months preceding 30 April). 
  • Employers will be able to include a voluntary narrative alongside the figures they have to publish.

What should I do ahead of these regulations?

TLT have previously advised that it may be sensible for employers likely to be subject to the gender pay gap reporting regulations to run the required figures for a snapshot period in 2016 so as to identify any issues as soon as possible. 

This could allow steps to be taken to begin to address any issues and hopefully improve the gender pay gap figures that have to be published when the time comes. It will be worth giving some thought as to what sort of additional information it may be beneficial to include to help explain why the figures have come out the way they have. This could include planned remedial action or it may demonstrate an improvement in the figures for previous years.

Our detailed look at the draft regulations from earlier this year is available here.

TLT will provide an update on the gender reporting requirements once the final regulations are published.

This publication is intended for general guidance and represents our understanding of the relevant law and practice as at October 2016. Specific advice should be sought for specific cases. For more information see our terms & conditions.

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