Gender pay gap reporting comes into force

  • New toolkit to support employers take the first step 

Today,  6 April 2017, gender pay gap reporting legislation comes into force. Employers with more than 250 employers will have to publish their gender pay gap findings by 4 April 2018. Employers in the private or voluntary sector with a head count of 250 or more relevant employees will fall within the scope of the legislation, and reporting requirements will apply to each separate legal entity within a group structure. 

Organisations will be required to publish:

  1. The mean gender pay gap
  2. The median gender pay gap
  3. The mean bonus gap
  4. The median bonus gap
  5. The proportion of male and female employees who received a bonus
  6. The proportion of male and female employees within each pay quartile

For many employers, large or small, this can seem a huge undertaking at first. There is a risk that some employers put it off until the last possible moment, but we advise that employers start taking action now to ensure that they are prepared to publish by this date. We are proud that some of our members have already published their gender pay gap data, and any employer can look to their approach as good practice. Some – such as Sodexo – have gone even further and committed to calculating pay gaps by age, ethnicity and disability.

For those employers that are having to look at gender pay gap from scratch, our Measuring Your Gender Pay Gap Toolkit is available to all employers, regardless of size or sector and enables them to understand:

  • What is the gender pay gap?
  • What do employers have to report?
  • Who will be affected by the legislation?
  • When should data be calculated and published (if you are private, public or a voluntary sector employer)?
  • Where should the data be published?
  • What does best practice reporting look like?
  • Support and advice from Business in the Community
  • Other useful resources

It is part of a set of four toolkits that take employers through our recommended stages for pay gap reporting:

  • Measure your gender pay gap
  • Understand your gender pay gap
  • Communicate your gender pay gap
  • Tackle your gender pay gap

At Business in the Community, we believe that transparency around pay and gender pay gaps will contribute to greater gender equality in the workplace. However, it is crucial that employers, particularly those ‘new’ to the agenda, recognise that the gender pay gap isn’t just about addressing unequal pay. Action to address gender pay gaps necessitates tackling the root causes of inequality, from ensuring that job definitions, recruitment, appraisal and promotion processes are bias-proof, to normalising agile working and offering financially viable parental leave packages for all parents, as well as looking at specific groups of women within the organisation – such as over 50s or ethnic minority women - to understand where gender pay gaps are largest. All of these are examples of how employers can take strategic action to ensure their workplaces are gender equal; the bigger picture is that of organisational change, rather than that of ‘fixing the women’.

Fundamentally, this is about changing culture in the workplace. The segregation of certain roles (i.e. more women in certain roles) and the devaluing of perceived ‘women’s work’ all contribute to the gender pay gap. In a world where men and women are working for longer, it makes sense for business and the UK to turn traditional ways of working upside down to ensure that 50% of the population doesn’t continue to be penalised financially for their gender.

The gender pay reporting regulations will ensure employers become publicly accountable for collectively closing the gender gap, and will hopefully reduce bias and increase transparency in decision-making on recruitment, performance appraisals and promotion decision. Now is the time for employers to act – to identify where their gaps are and focus on changing organisational culture and break down the structural barriers to true gender equality. We will support them on this journey.