As employers’ 2017 gender pay gap statistics slowly drip in to the government’s website, I and my fellow gender pay gap nerds are reading the reports with interest. With only around 1,600 reports in so far and approximately 8,000 left to go, with only a few days until the deadline, it is a little frustrating, but perhaps inevitable, that so many employers are leaving it so late.
What is surprising to me is the considerable number of employers so far whose gender pay gap reports suggest they are not complying properly with the reporting legislation. There are a number of reported 0% gender pay gaps and, to its credit, the government has now queried these as being statistically improbable. Improbable, but not impossible, since one of these was a client of Menzies Law which genuinely did have a 0% gap, following our pay audit.
Then there are those employers who are reporting a perfect 50:50 gender split in all four of their pay quartiles; the statistical equivalent, I suggest, of the two-fingered salute.
And most recently, a particularly large employer has reported a 0% bonus gap on the basis that they say they do not pay bonuses. Apparently no bonuses paid to anyone at all, at any level, in a business which probably has around 100,000 employees. I’m left with what could be described as a ‘credibility gap’.
There are also lots of employers claiming, in their supporting narratives, that they pay equal pay to all their workforce; very bold claims, with no caveats. However, in my opinion, such statements are highly unlikely to be true.
So my message to those 8,000 or so employers still to publish their gender pay gap statistics is please be honest, and please play by the rules.
Luke Menzies is a barrister and solicitor specialising in the gender pay gap and equal pay and director at Menzies Law