There are two useful developments to be aware of in advance of the gender pay gap regulations coming into force on 6 April 2017.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published an online tool providing information on current pay gaps across a number of sectors and which may be useful for understanding how your company compares to peers.
The analysis gives an idea of what the gap may be for specific roles within your company. In the first year of reporting there are clearly going to be some businesses that have concerns about reporting their gender pay gap when compared against peers or the overall gender pay gap (currently around 18%). This benchmarking provides a useful comparison tool.
The government will be publishing reported figures on a gender pay website and the results will be in the public domain and open to comment. As the regulations enable a narrative to be provided explaining your calculations, this could be beneficial if you are able to say your gender pay gap is less than the ONS reported figures. Alternatively, it may allow you the scope to explain your gender pay gap if it is more than the ONS average.
You have up until 4 April 2018 to report your snapshot data from 5 April 2017 and it as well to consider the narrative aspect of the reporting now. That is particularly so when we anticipate that the raw data may be open to interpretation and create potential reputational risks unless it is put in context and explained further.
ACAS have recently published their guidance titled 'Managing Gender Pay Reporting in the Private and Voluntary Sectors'.
This guide adds further detail on the specific obligations, including examples which help to illustrate the key calculations required and a list of considerations and strategies to help reduce the gender pay gap. Furthermore, the guide provides clarity on areas which were previously unclear in the draft Regulations, such as how to present the median figures required.
In addition to publishing the guide, Acas have also published a list of 'Top 10 Myths: Gender Pay Gap Reporting'. This list covers topics such as the business advantage of closing the gender gap and why gender pay gap reporting is needed.
If you have any questions, please get in touch with one of our experts in TLT’s Employment team.This publication is intended for general guidance and represents our understanding of the relevant law and practice as at February 2017. Specific advice should be sought for specific cases. For more information see our terms & conditions.