Transparency on the U.K. gender pay gap

by | Apr 9, 2017

Effective 6th April 2017, thousands of U.K. employers will have to publish pay differences on the earnings of men and women. Any organizations with 250 or more employees now have to reveal any gender discrepancies in remuneration between men and women by April 2018. [Tweet "The new regulations, impact more than 15 million people, which is almost half the U.K. workforce."]

Read: Male Colleagues Earning More? How to initiate the pay rise conversation.

Managing the gender pay gap

gender pay gap

Currently the UK national gender pay gap stands at 18.1 percent, according to the Office for National Statistics estimates. Employers will be required to publish figures from a “snapshot” period in April, calculating the median and mean pay gaps, the proportion of men and women in each quartile of the payroll and the gaps reflected in any bonuses -- including the proportions of male and female bonus recipients.  Companies are also urged to create action plans to bridge the gap.

Read: Women pay more with an invisible Pink Tax

Gender pay gap and equal pay

The gender pay gap and equal pay are complex issues and many end up confusing the two concepts.  Equal Pay applies to situations when men and women are being equally remunerated for doing the same work.  This has been on the statute books since the 1970s.  [Tweet "It should be a straight forward, legally enforceable exercise, but it isn’t."] There are times when men and women are supposed to earn the same, but they don’t. Even at graduate entry-level or post MBA, discrepancies start to emerge.

The Gender Pay Gap focuses on the average hourly pay for men and women across an organization. It is usually skewed because men dominate senior roles. So it will never be straight forward. Factors such as continuous service play a role, as well as the weighting given to different functions within organizations. A highly competent woman might earn less than a mediocre man simply because she took a short parenting gap. Functions with P & L responsibility usually carry higher remuneration levels than pink skill silo jobs where women tend to be channeled (HR, marketing, communication.) Jobs associated with the employment of women tend to pay less and don't attract men.

Read: Why HR does not do more for gender balance

Scale of problem

The scale of the problem has probably not been totally identified because many companies have never made the necessary detailed calculations. Those that have done the work, have corrected some of the major anomalies, but not all. The cost of doing that exercise would be too significant.

Gender pay gap transparency is not the total solution, but will certainly play a valuable role of a wider process to boost any move towards gender parity. As the social proofing of companies becomes more commonplace, women are able to research companies and organizations about how they treat female employees. Information in the public domain will encourage women to decide whether to accept a role in a company that is openly under performing at managing their gender pay gap.  [Tweet "84% of young women that the gender pay gap is a factor in rejecting job offers. "]

So we will see what difference if any transparency on the overall the gender pay gap will make.

Need help with gender balance in your company? Contact 3Plus now!

Staff Writer: Career Contributor
3Plus welcomes any writers to join 3Plus as a Staff Writer. If you are an expert in Job Search, Career and Mentoring or just want to share your experiences, contact us! We would love to give you a voice!

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