So why is the Gender Pay Gap an issue?
The UK gender pay gap is currently 23%, much reduced in the last 10 years. In Scotland it is a shocking 29%. In the EU the average is 16.3%. There are many reasons for the pay gap, including women working part time, or taking time out of work to care for children or other dependents. This can make it harder for them to return to exactly the same work as they left. This affects career participation and progression as well as pay. Women are also underrepresented in many industrial sectors, meaning that business and our economy is not realising the potential of its economic resources. Yes we know it’s not all the company’s fault; history, previous management and that’s just the way it was has impacted on it but it is now your responsibility
How does this affect you?
Here is what do you need to do and by when...
It is the mandatory requirement to publish your pay rates according to job level and gender for all your staff within your annual accounts and on your website for it to remain there for a three-year period. The first reports for the private/voluntary sector are due before 30 April 2018 (in other words, by 29 April 2018). The reports will be based on the payroll run for 30 April 2017 and on bonuses paid over the preceding 12 months.
Why would you bother given there are currently no financial penalties?
- The subject isn’t going away; it has a high profile which will only increase in visibility so encouraging your staff to question their personal situation
- Failure to publish does not prevent an employee requesting access to the information anyway
- A successful claim can result in up to six years’ differential back pay (five years in Scotland)
- It would place you in a stronger position to be able to defend any potential claims
- Failure to report could cause reputation damage if it becomes known and the government starts to publish lists of those who have not done so (as suggested by the Equal Pay Commission)
- It could impact future recruitment opportunities as the candidates may start to review this data as part of their recruitment process
Here is some basic information on how to do an audit
Step 1 - Collecting and analyzing pay data
It is essential that before you embark on any analysis of your data you need to check it for completeness and accuracy. This means checking the data quality for each of the areas that you are looking at such as age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.
Where data is incomplete, you need to decide how you will deal with this for each specific area. For example, you could decide simply to exclude cases where ethnicity is unknown from an ethnicity analysis, or you could (preferably) include a separate category for analysis of them.
Don’t forget you also will need to have full job descriptions of each role at this stage too to
decide which of your employees are doing equal work
Step 2 - Analyse the data
This can be done with such information as your job descriptions or undertaking job evaluation
Step 3 - Identify any causes of pay gaps in all elements of pay
Are there historical, social or other economic reasons for the gap? Has the workforce been affected by TUPE transfers or by other amalgamations which help explain the gap for instance?
What steps have been tried in the past to address the gap, and why might these have failed to deliver results?
Drill down to understand the data better by breaking it down by age, grade, work location, full-time or part-time; does this help tell a different story?
Step 4 - Identify any action that needs to be taken
Can you justify the differences?
So for example in which elements of pay are the differences occurring (basic pay, performance pay, amount of overtime etc.).
Are there any pay practices causing the gap (starting pay, performance assessments, differences in acceptance of overtime opportunities between men and women etc) and what are the reasons for them?
Also what can you do if you can’t justify the differences?
Firstly – deal with it immediately!
Then look to the below
Step 5 - Longer term action plans and processes to prevent future issues and address current ones
- Policy creation/review of equality, equal pay policy, discipline and grievance, bullying and harassment, recruitment and promotion, training opportunity, work life balance polices
- Have a business people development plan
- Job Evaluation processes
- Pay systems and grade introduction
- Ongoing review and monitoring
- Specific support for underrepresented groups
- Maternity coaching
- Acknowledging and promoting different strengths of the different groups
- Flexible working opportunities
- Cultural acceptance
- Training regarding such things as diversity, job description writing, recruitment, PDPs, job evaluation training
- Performance management PDR processes to identify opportunities
Sure you can do this yourself but if you would like some assistance, or someone to do it, or do not have the resources please contact us for support at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01924 637290 or http://www.threedomsolutions.co.uk/contact.html