Gender Pay Gap Reporting UK – Has Your Company Completed the Process?


Gender Pay Gap Reporting UK – Has Your Company Completed the Process?


By Friday the 30th of March all public sector companies with 250 or more employees had to have completed their filing on gender pay gap as part of the Equity Act 2010 (if you want more information on the act and what it requires read my previous blog article here).  Private companies and charities have until the 4th of April, and then all organisations that have 250 employees or more should have filed.  Guess what; on Thursday the 29th of March about 7000 of the 9000 have completed the process, 77%.  And I would be willing to bet that the percentage complete will not materially change between now and the 4th of April.



For those readers who don’t know what Gender Pay Gap Reporting is the Guardian has done an excellent summary.



Gender pay gap reporting



What is being published?



All companies and some public sector bodies in Great Britain, except Northern Ireland, with more than 250 employees are reporting their gender pay gap to the Government Equalities Office. All companies are due to report by 4 April 2018.



What is the gender pay gap?



The gender pay gap is the difference between the average hourly earnings of men and women. The figure is expressed as a proportion of men’s earnings. According to the ONS, the gap between what UK male and female workers earn – based on median hourly earnings for all workers in 2017 – stood at 18.4%, up 18.2% from a year earlier. The mean gender pay gap is 17.4%.



What’s the difference between the mean and the median figures?



Commonly known as the average, the mean is calculated by adding up the wages of all employees and dividing that figure by the number of employees. The mean gender pay gap is the difference between mean male pay and mean female pay.



The median gap is the difference between the employee in the middle of the range of male wages and the employee in the middle of the range of female wages. Typically the median is the more representative figure because the mean can be skewed by a handful of highly paid employees.



No legislation states companies must make changes to narrow the gender pay gap – they just have to report it.  There has been some interesting behaviour from companies who have reported.  Here are a few examples: -



Companies have filed inaccurate data – an example in the Guardian, companies have submitted mathematically impossible figures.  At least 17 companies have reported a pay gap on bonuses of greater than 100%.  This would be that if a man eared £100, then the women would have to PAY BACK to the company whatever amount greater than 100%.  For example, if the reported pay gap were 105%, then the women would have to write a cheque out for £5 for every £100 a man got as a bonus.  Most likely this is not correct.  Other companies have filed a zero pay gap, which again cannot mathematically be correct.



Companies have filed revisions when they have been “called out” – after their initial filings were called out as not looking accurate, PwC, Deloitte and EY revised their filings to include partners.  This was also true of law firms, except for Clifford Chance who still has not included partners in their figures.



Companies have made statements I think they will regret – “Slaughter & May reported a gender pay gap of 39% in its services division. However, in a press release, it noted that gap was greatly reduced if it excluded the secretaries, all of whom are women, from its figures.”  Now, why would any organisation issue a press release that said that?



We don’t have the data – This is a very sad statement in respect to the HR profession as the data required to complete the on-line government form is something that all organisations should easily be able to pull out.



If I wait until the last minute to file no one will notice my data – This is a little like playing ostrich.  The theory being that if my companies files at the last minute, along with a whole bunch of other companies, no one will notice that my data is not as good as it should be.  Maybe if you are on the smaller end of the scale regarding the number of employees, this might work as long as you are not a venture capitalist, investment banker, law firm, consultancy or other higher paid service organisation.



The deadline is coming, and the data is extremely newsworthy.  Headlines such as: 



  • The gender pay gap nationally stands at 18.4 percent for full-time and part-time workers, according to the UK’s Office for National Statistics.

  • The sectors with the most significant gap are construction, financial and insurance services and education.

  • The UK has a smaller gender pay gap than the USA but bigger than Australia




It will be interesting to watch what happens past the deadline.  Will the government fine organisations that do not report at all?  Will they go after companies that apparently have the wrong data?  Will they create a league table of best or worse?  This will be a space I will continue to watch.



Article by Mary Sue Rogers



More reading



Financial Times – Gender Pay Gap UK



Guardian – Gender Pay Gap Multiple Firms Submit Questionable Data



Check the stats on your favourite company






Posted on : 2018/09/06