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Guidance to help employers close their gender pay gap

Earlier this year, the Government Equalities Office published a research report on a 2018 survey of employers’ understanding of the gender pay gap, their experiences with compliance and the actions they were taking to close the gap.  In a survey of 900 employers, 82% believed they had a good understanding of what the gender pay gap is and how it is calculated, up from 48% in 2017.   It found that the proportion of employers that had developed a gender pay gap strategy had increased from 21% to 34% since 2017; and that over half of employers with a gender pay gap of over 20% had come up with a formal strategy to reduce it. 

The Government Equalities Office has now published two sets of guidance to help employers understand and address their gender pay gap.

Eight ways to understand your organisation’s gender pay gap notes that to be able to target resources effectively to improve their gender pay gap, it is essential for the employer to know more about the specific causes of any imbalance.  The guidance sets out eight questions to enable employer to identify the potential clauses of their gender pay gap.

  1. Do people get “stuck” at certain levels within your organisation?
  2. Is there a gender imbalance in your promotions? 
  3. Are women more likely to be recruited into lower paid roles in your organisation?
  4. Do men and women leave your organisation at different rates? 
  5. Do particular aspects of pay (such as starting salaries and bonuses) differ by gender?
  6. Do men and women receive different performance scores on average?
  7. Are you doing all that you can to support part-time employees to progress?
  8. Are you supporting both men and women to taken on caring responsibilities? 

Four steps to developing a gender pay gap action plan is based on feedback from employers with successful action plans in place to tackle their gender pay gap. The four steps are:

  1. Analyse your data and identify actions.  This includes understanding why your gender pay gap exists; adopting a systematic approach to identifying actions, considering every stage in the employee life cycle from recruitment to exit interviews; and identifying evidence driven action.
  2. Consult and engage.  This includes gaining buy-in from senior people and involving a wide range of stakeholders.
  3. Revise, assess and embed your action plan.  This includes letting plans evolve, by monitoring and evaluating the action plan and changing and adapting it as required; and embedding actions in working practices.
  4. Allow enough time.  The guidance notes that developing an effective action plan is an ongoing and iterative process.  Time is required to consider the approach to adopt and to refine the content.

Comment

According to a Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee report last year, 78% of organisations reporting figures in 2017/2018 have a gender pay gap in favour of men, and in some organisations the pay gap is more than 40%.  The new guidance refers to actions to support women, but as noted in the guidance, the actions could equally be used to support men where the gender pay gap is in favour of women.

22 February 2019

©2019 SCRASE LAW LTD. THIS POST IS FOR GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY AND IS NOT ADVICE. YOU ARE RECOMMENDED TO SEEK COMPETENT PROFESSIONAL ADVICE BEFORE TAKING ANY ACTION ON THE BASIS OF THIS POST

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