Opinion

The Gender Pay Gap - What we know so far

3rd April 2018

Currently only around 2,685 employers out of an estimated 9,000 have filled in their reports.

In December 2017 the Equality and Human Right Commission (EHRC) published a draft enforcement strategy on how they propose to deal with employers who do not file their reports by the deadline.

The strategy suggests that the EHRC will initially look to approach employers informally at first, but they could then face unlimited fines and convictions. The EHRC are now looking at the responses to the consultation and will publish the final version of the policy shortly.

The gender pay gap is the median pay between the average hourly earnings of men and women irrespective of their job or position. Employers will need to provide the mean and median hourly earnings and bonus payments for men and women. The percentage given is a proportion of men’s earnings.

The following major companies have already reported their gender pay gaps:

  • Barclays – 43.5%
  • Easy Jet – 45.5%
  • BBC – 9.3%

There are so far two employers with no or low gender pay gap:

  • The British Museum – 0%
  • Armed Forces – 0.9%

Some employers have commented that the reason for the gender pay gap is due to men holding more senior roles than women and are paid more as these roles attract higher salaries.

The Fawcett Society, the UK’s leading charity campaigning for gender equality and women’s rights, has looked at the reasons behind the pay gap. They suggest that one of the reasons is that women often have more caring responsibilities than men do and so are more likely to work part-time. They state that 58% of carers in the UK are women and that women are four times more likely than men to give up work to do unpaid care work.

As far as we know there are not going to be any repercussions for companies that have a wide pay gap, however, there is a risk of reputational damage. There is the option for employers to provide a narrative to explain for a pay gap, but it remains to be seen what actions employers will actually take to address their pay gap.

We will continue to follow the updates as more employers file their reports.

 

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