Gender pay gap reporting now expected: What you need to know

Gender pay gap reporting now expected: What you need to know

Companies with more than 250 employees will this year be expected to report details of their gender pay gap to the Government Equalities Office (GEO). What does this mean for your organisation?

What is the gender pay gap?

The gender pay gap is a term used to describe the lack of parity between men and women’s average hourly earnings. In April of last year the gap stood at 9.1 per cent, a figure based on median hourly earnings. This was a fall of 0.3 per cent from the previous year.

The mean difference stands at 14.1 per cent, a figure that has not fallen in three years. Both the median and mean gender pay gap is based on full-time workers. When part-time workers are included the median and mean figures rise, to 18.4 per cent and 17.4 per cent respectively.

Is it illegal to pay a woman less than a man for doing the same job?

The Equality Pay Act of 1970 made it illegal to pay women less than men for the same role. The Equality Act of 2010 states you are breaking the law if, based on gender, you do not offer equal pay to employees performing work of equivalent value. This is irrespective of the size of the company or number of employees.

What are the penalties for not reporting the gender pay gap?

Failing to meet the 4 April deadline will lead to action from The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). Initially, the EHRC will take a low key approach, making informal inquiries with any employer that hasn’t published its figures. This, however, could lead to more severe measures such as unlimited fines and convictions.

Will a company be forced to address its gender pay gap?

At present there is no proposal of penalising a company because of its gender pay gap. The figures will be published though, in the form of sector-specific league tables, which will mean a company’s gender pay gap will be available for all to see, including employees, customers and media outlets.