The 2017-18 fiscal year introduced a new obligation for employers in the private and voluntary sector requiring those with a headcount of 250 or more ‘relevant employees’ as at the snapshot date of 5 April 2017, and each subsequent year, to calculate statistics to demonstrate the gender pay gap that exists within their organisation or business. They will have one year to report those figures publicly.
This includes employees who are working under an employment contract, an apprenticeship contract or individuals who have been contracted personally to do work, which will include the ‘self-employed’, in their myriad guises, who have to perform the work personally.
Employers have to report a number of figures (14 in total) to reveal the mean and median hourly rate gender pay gap; the mean and median bonus pay gender pay gap; the proportion of males and females receiving a bonus; and the proportion of males and females in each quartile pay band.
As a minimum, the employer will also provide a written statement confirming the accuracy of the calculations to be signed by an appropriate senior person. This information must be published in an accessible place on the employer’s website, and be held there for three years to demonstrate any trends, and also uploaded to a designated government website.
Acas has produced guidance together with the Government Equalities Office (GEO) which recommends employers go further than the minimum to recognise and address the reasons for a gender pay gap revealed. By telling its story, an employer will help readers to understand the context of its results.
Automation will support this annual process but guidance and regulations were published late, resulting in a variety of automated solutions being available this year for employers in payroll and HR software. Employers should update themselves with their options now: do not leave it until the deadline is looming.
It is early days yet but there have been difficulties calculating the average hourly rates and accessing the pay data, which has needed significant manual intervention.
But employers have uploaded to the gender pay gap service. By accessing their websites, we can learn much from others.
Samantha Mann is senior policy and research officer at the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP)