Mind the Gap – why employers should take heed of the BBC salaries release and gender pay

Yesterday saw the BBC publish the salaries of its highest paid stars for the first time. Immediate debate about licence fee value for money has shifted to focus on the imbalance in the pay between the Corporation's highest paid male and female stars. We look at why this is important for employers going forward.

Gender Pay Gap Reporting Law Scotland Employer Harper Macleod

What the BBC figures showed

The BBC publication on salaries showed a marked difference in what it pays its highest-earning male and female stars. Of those earning above £150,000, only 34 were women compared to 62 men.

Male presenters were also identified by the media as being more highly paid than their female counterparts on some of the same shows. This has led to adverse publicity for the BBC with the front pages of today's newspapers focussing on the apparent significant gender pay gap in its remuneration packages.

Gender Pay Gap Reporting

Employers could face similar public scrutiny with the onset of Gender Pay Gap Reporting.

The Gender Pay Gap Reporting Regulations came into force in April this year and are designed to increase transparency around pay differences between males and females in the workplace. The rules will apply to employers with 250 or more members of staff as at 5th April in each year.

It is estimated that over 8000 private and third sector employers will be affected. The new rules apply primarily to the private and third sector, but not the public sector, as separate rules apply to public sector employers.

Unlike the BBC salaries publication, Gender Pay Gap Reporting is concerned with the statistical differences in pay between males and females averaged out across an organisation, at a particular point in time and no matter what the roles are. It does not involve identification of individuals, but is more concerned with overall statistical analysis. The information needs to be published on an organisation’s UK website before being uploaded to a Government sponsored site.

Employers need to start planning now:

  • to ensure they meet the necessary reporting requirements;
  • to analyse in advance the data produced by reports; to identify any consequences;
  • and to decide on the appropriate steps to take if issues are identified.

Get in touch

If you would like to find out more about Gender Pay Gap reporting and how it may affect your business - as well as how to deal with its requirements - please get in touch with a member of our team.