The Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 (Regulations) came into force on 6 April 2017, obliging employers with 250+ employees to publish their gender pay gap statistics taken from pay information as at the snapshot date of 5 April 2017.
It has been six months since the Regulations came into force and the BBC has reported that only approximately 85 out of 9,000 companies, required to publish their pay data, have actually done so.
The deadline for the remaining 8,915 employers to publish their gender pay gap information is April 2018. Six months to go.
The “Glass Pyramid”
Gender pay gap research in 2017 has highlighted that the gender pay gap appears to widen for those women working in more senior roles, indicating the presence of a “glass pyramid”.
The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) has published findings showing that the gender pay gap for managers has increased to 26.8%, compared to 23.1% in the previous year. The figure is also substantially higher than the 18.1% for employees across all roles as published by the Office of National Statistics in 2016.
The CMI research also showed that women occupy 66% of junior management roles and 26% of director-level roles, while men occupy almost 74% of senior positions. The CMI reported a gender pay gap of £34,144 in more senior roles.
Bonus payments have a lot to answer for, as the CMI reported an astonishing 46.9% gender bonus gap across managers.
Since April 2017, complying organisations have received some negative publicity as a result of undesirable figures.
The BBC were among those in the spotlight after revelations that 66% of the 96 presenters and celebrities paid more than £150,000 were men. Furthermore, that the BBC’s highest paid male was receiving between £2.2 million and £2.5 million, while their highest paid female received £450,000 – £500,000.
At present, there are no civil or criminal penalties for failing to report gender pay gap information under the Regulations. It is worth noting that the Government has stated that non-compliance will be an “unlawful act” which would allow the Equality and Human Rights Commission to take enforcement action.
It was anticipated that compliance would be driven by the risk of reputational damage to businesses through “naming and shaming.” However, there are concerns that many organisations might be reluctant to publish their figures for fear of negative publicity and criticism over results.
Businesses who are concerned about their results should consider publishing an accompanying narrative with their figures. A narrative could be a useful tool to explain the context behind a large gender pay gap, as well as any anomalies in the figures. The narrative could also be used as a mission statement, setting out any positive steps companies plan on taking to narrow the gender pay gap.
The Government’s aim, when introducing the Regulations, was to create transparency in an attempt to encourage employers to take action to close the gender pay gap. Gender pay gap reporting should be viewed as a useful exercise to allow employers to determine what they are doing well and to identify the areas they could improve.
This post was written by Gillian Hanson. For more information, please contact:
Gillian Hanson, solicitor, Employment
T: 0161 836 7887