Tackling the Gender Pay Gap

Last month saw the introduction of new regulations requiring employers to publish their gender pay gap figures.

These regulations are the latest in a series of steps taken by the Government in attempt to reduce discrimination and improve equality in the workplace, and will apply to employers in the voluntary, private and public sector that employ 250 or more people. According to the Government, this will incorporate around 9,000 employers, which together employ around 15 million employees.

Regulation Requirements

As part of the new regulations, by April 2018 employers are required to:

  • Publish their median gender pay gap figures
  • Publish their mean gender pay gap figures
  • Publish the proportion of men & women in each quartile of the pay structure.
  • Publish the gender pay gaps for any bonuses paid out during the year

Employers will also be encouraged to publish an action plan alongside their figures, demonstrating the steps they will take to close the gender pay gap within their organisation.

Helping Women Reach Their Full Potential

“We have more women in work, more women-led businesses than ever before and the highest proportion of women on the boards of our biggest companies,” commented Minister for Women and Equalities Justine Greening. “This has helped us to narrow the gender pay gap to a record 18.1 per cent – but we want to eliminate it completely.”

“Helping women to reach their full potential isn’t only the right thing to do, it makes good economic sense and is good for British business,” she added. “I am proud that the UK is championing gender equality and now those employers that are leading the way will clearly stand out with these requirements.”

Addressing ‘Casual’ Discrimination

Requiring companies to report on their gender pay gaps is undoubtedly an important step forward, but new research has revealed that gender parity is unlikely to be achieved unless employers address the issues created by organisational culture.

According to the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), which conducted the survey, one area employers urgently need to address is ‘casual’ acts of gender discrimination: it found that four in five (81%) managers have witnessed gender discrimination or bias in their workplace in the last year alone.

Although 86% of managers surveyed said they were in favour of a more gender balanced workplace, this doesn’t appear to be translating into meaningful action to prevent or challenge negative behaviours. Just 42% of managers who said they witnessed bias in pay or remuneration decisions in the past 12 months said they had taken direct action to challenge the behaviour.

According to CMI Women, the UK economy will need two million new managers by 2024 – and 1.5 million of these will need to be women if gender balance is to be achieved.

Interestingly, CMI’s research also found that employers need to do more to support men to improve gender equality within their organisations. Two in five (41%) of managers admitted that they have never supported a man in taking longer paternity leave, and nearly a quarter (24%) have never supported a man in a flexible working request to accommodate childcare needs.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

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