The deadline for organisations to submit their gender pay gap data draws ever nearer.
As the 4th April 2019 deadline looms, only 1000 organisations required to submit their data to the UK Government have done so - that's around 10.5%.
Consequently, many organisations could find themselves pressed for time to meet their obligations in relation to gender pay gap reporting - especially given the importance placed on reducing the gender pay gap by both the UK and Scottish Governments.
You can find our quick guide on the Gender Pay Gap Reporting Regulations here.
Analysis by paygaps.com suggests that the sector with the highest median gender pay gap is the construction industry at 25.5%, followed by financial services with 21.2%. The industries with the highest median bonus gap are agriculture, forestry and fishing at 63%. This highlights that there is, on the face of it, still a lot of room for improvement.
However, issues still remain in relation to the quality of data being submitted by organisations. For example, according to Paygaps.com, around a third of all organisations have made some administrative errors during the reporting process. In addition, the majority of reports submitted last year tended to focus on explaining what the gender pay gap reporting legislation was and how it differed from equal pay.
However, guidance published last month from ACAS on managing gender pay gap reporting aims to address this. The guidance makes it clear that good practice should involve organisations publishing an action plan explaining how they intend to tackle the gender pay gap.
ACAS has stated that publishing an action plan with targets, either as part of a supporting narrative or alongside it, will send a strong signal of commitment by the reporting organisation to gender equality in the workplace.
New guidance from the Government Equalities Office
In February, the Government Equalities Office (GEO) published two sets of guidance to help employers close their gender pay gap. The first guide, Eight ways to understand your gender pay gap, is aimed to help employers understand the root causes of pay discrepancies between male and female staff in their organisations; while the second document guide, Four steps to developing a gender pay gap action plan, is based on feedback from employers with effective action plans in place.
Both of these guides aim to support employers to ensure that they are both reporting accurately and implementing action plans which can positively impact on reducing the gender pay gap within their workforce. Therefore, if your organisation has not already done so, developing a gender pay gap action plan is strongly recommended. This will create a road map for how your organisation will promote greater equality within the workplace.
How can we support your organisation?
Reducing the gender pay gap remains a top priority for both the UK and Scottish Governments as they aim to encourage employers to implement action plans which can help create a fairer workplace. However, additional reporting should also be expected in the near future with the Government consultation on ethnicity pay gap reporting having closed in January.
This will present a challenge with many employers not currently in a position to provide the relevant data in order to meet the requirements of the proposed legislation.
Consequently, if your organisation would like support and advice on these developments then please get in touch. Our team regularly advises employers on equality issues and legal developments so that employers can position themselves to best meet their obligations in a rapidly evolving area of employment law.