With gender equality a hot topic right now, employers in the UK should be aware of their responsibilities when it comes to any disparity in pay between male and female members of staff.
In April last year, a new ruling decreed that companies with 250 or more employees must publish their gender pay gap. If you haven’t acted yet, this only leaves a short time to collect the appropriate data and upload it via the government portal.
The move is part of an attempt to fight workplace discrimination, with many feminist voices cursing the disproportionate pay received by their male colleagues. Of course, this is a hotly debated issue and there are various ways of reporting these statistics, yet the cabinet have still felt it necessary to push for action.
With around 9,000 businesses set to be affected by the new reporting rules, it pays to know your legal responsibilities if they apply to you. Here are some further details.
All public, private and voluntary sector companies with over 250 staff must publish statutory calculations of the average pay received by men and women, including bonuses.
There are two deadlines to remember for the first set of results, after which a report must be filed every year:
- March 30th 2018 – predominantly for the public sector
- April 4th 2018 – predominantly for the private and voluntary sectors.
Not only will the government upload results online, but companies must also publish them on their own website. Therefore, because customers, current employees and prospective employees are able to access this information, it’s within your best interests to reduce any pay gap, where appropriate.
There are six basic calculations for employers to publish, signed off by the chief executive or someone of similar standing. These are the:
- average gender pay gap as a mean average
- average gender pay gap as a median average
- average bonus gender pay gap as a mean average
- average bonus gender pay gap as a median average
- proportion of males receiving a bonus payment and proportion of females receiving a bonus payment
- proportion of males and females when divided into four groups ordered from lowest to highest pay.
Depending on your company, the definition of an employee may differ. If you’re unsure about this, seek financial advice in case you’re above the 250 mark and aren’t aware. SMEs should also consider publishing a similar report if it creates good marketing optics.
Bear in mind that gender pay gap reporting is not the same as an equal pay audit. It is a legal requirement for companies to pay men and women the same wage for the same job. This new requirement has a bit more leniency as there are various roles within the same company that have different pay levels.
Because of this, employers are granted added leeway to explain why there may be a pay gap in effect. This narrative should be included in the report you send, along with measures being taken to reduce the disparity.
The official government guidelines can be found here with various documents to help businesses stay in line with the regulations, along with a useful FAQ section as well.
Hiring an accountant can help you keep track of your legal responsibilities for reporting such as this, as well as working out and submitting your annual or quarterly accounts; get in touch with DLR Accountants’ friendly team to see how we can help you.