Last week the BBC released the salaries of their top earning presenters and actors, however it is the gender pay gap that is creating the news instead of the salaries. About two thirds of the 96 top earners were male.
Back in April 2017 new legislation was introduced whereby organisations with over 250 employees have to report data regarding their gender pay gap. They will also have to report on the proportion of male and female employees in different pay quartiles and those who receive bonuses. Employers take a snapshot of the pay data, they then have twelve months to publish the information on their own website and upload it to a Government website.
The UK’s national gender pay gap stands at 18.1% at present which is the lowest since records began in 1997.
With no fines being administered for non-compliance of the new legislation and the reporting itself unable to change the imbalance; industry experts are encouraging all employers to take the initiative and look at their own company structures and policies to address the gap.
- Companies will be considering the provision of parental leave. Figures point to the so-called ‘motherhood pay penalty’ as possible reasons for women’s lower earnings. Some are exploring enforced paternity, allowing women to return to work sooner. Parents working from home or babies in the office have been adopted in some parts of Europe.
- With figures showing that women cluster in lower paid jobs does this suggest a lack of flexibility for women being able to work part-time and remain in their high earning jobs? Can these jobs be shared?
- At the pro-active and radical end, some large companies are merely raising the pay for female staff if appropriate.
“Many see the new reporting merely as naming and shaming, and no company wants to be at the top of the gender pay inequality rankings, however unless companies are forced to recognise the awkward truth that they have a pay gap, nothing will be done to change it.”*
*Katie Allen – Economics Editor - www.guardian.com
Other sources - www.fawcettsociety.org.uk