Experts have warned employers could face serious reputational damage if they fail to meet their gender pay reporting deadline. New figures have been published and they suggest one in ten eligible organisations will not meet their deadlines this spring.
Under Government regulations introduced in April 2017, all companies with more than 250 employees are required by law to report on their gender pay gap. The deadline for organisations to publish their gender pay audit data is 4th April 2018, whereas organisations in the public sector will have to publish their report by 30th March 2018. The report should show the differences in average pay between males and females in their workplaces.
So far, only 502 out of 9,000 businesses surveyed by accountancy firm, RSM, had published their report. Around 77% of business who were also surveyed said they were close to publishing or already had published their gender pay gap report. The survey also showed that 10% of firms said they wouldn’t be able to meet the deadline. It is believed organisations are delaying their gender pay report because they are developing a narrative to explain the figures before they are made public.
A senior partner at law firm Eversheds Sutherland, Shirley Hall, has advised employers to “make every effort to comply with the statutory requirements to report gender pay gaps. The implications for failing to do so go beyond potential enforcement by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), who have been appointed by the Government to enforce compliance with the regulations”.
In recent news, BBC’s China Editor, Carrie Grace, has resigned over pay inequality with male colleagues. Gracie spoke on BBC’s women’s hour and said she “could not go back to China and collude knowingly with what I believed to be unlawful discrimination”. She has accused the BBC in an open letter of having a “secretive and illegal pay culture”.
Many individuals have shown their support for Carrie and the hashtag #IStandWithCarrieGracie has trended all over social media. Other BBC broadcasters including Clare Balding and Mishal Husain have shown their support for Gracie, as well as Labour MPs Harriet Harman and Jess Phillips.
Carrie Gracie has stated: “The support I have had in the last few hours over this, I think it does speak to the depth of hunger for an equal, fair and transparent pay system”. Gracie will return to her former post in the TV newsroom, where is it expected she’ll be paid equally.
In 2017, the BBC revealed in their gender pay report that only two females appeared in the top ten of their highest earners. The report also showed that two of the BBC’s international Editors earned at “least 50% more” than their female counterparts.
The Equality Act 2010 states both men and women should be paid the exact same, so its highly important organisations comply with this. Not only is this going against legislation, it can also attract negative publicity which can lead to reputational damage for employers. This can also have an impact on recruitment and retention, because the company isn’t acting appropriately with gender equality issues.
Organisations can look at offering flexible working for women. A main reason as to why fewer women are in senior positions, is because they don’t have the option to work flexibly. Without flexible working, women are forced to either have a part-time job or to take a lower-paid job. Organisations can achieve flexible working through allowing workers to work from home, job sharing and part-time work.
If you need advice or guidance on your gender pay report, please contact a member of the HPC team:
T: 0844 800 5932