The issue of gender discrimination in the workplace, and how to ensure that women and men are paid equally, has been on the political agenda for many years. However, as of February this year, a significant toughening in the government position was announced – gender pay gap reporting will be mandatory as of April 2017.
‘The reality is that it is coming’
This applies to all private and voluntary sectors employers, who employ 250 staff members or more (those that employ less than this are exempt). It is a policy that has divided opinion, with Nicky Morgan – the Minister for Women and Equalities at the time it was unveiled – proclaiming it’ll mean there is ‘nowhere for gender inequality to hide’. The CBI Director-General, by contrast, cautioned that the data within pay gap reporting can only give a partial account – due to factors such as sectoral variations and the balance of full and part time workers. Regardless of your views on the policy, the reality is that it is coming and employers must be prepared for it.
It will be required of employers to start calculating, as of April 2017, the number of men and women within each pay range, in order to highlight where the widest pay gaps exist. By 30 April 2018 – and annually from then onwards – employers must publish their overall gender pay gap figure online, with senior executives expected to give this figure their personal sign-off. League tables will then highlight how employers are faring on a comparative basis.
‘Tough sanctions for non-compliance’
Tough sanctions look set to be enforced for non-compliance – public naming and shaming, for starters, followed by the possibility of civil and criminal action. It is important for employers, then, that they meet their obligations.
At Dataplan, we will do all we can to make the transition to mandatory pay gap reporting as straightforward as possible for our clients, so if you require any further information, please get in touch. You can also refer to the document entitled ‘Government response – Closing the Gender Pay Gap’ at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/closing-the-gender-pay-gap.