What to do after publishing your company's gender pay gap report

man and woman in meetingSuzanne Tanser explains next steps for employers who want to actively address any resulting disparities.

As the gender pay gap deadline nears, large employers are likely to be gearing up to publishing their report. 

But once this report has been published, employers need to ensure that they aren’t putting the issue of a gender pay gap to one side.

Key dates to be aware of

An important date for employers to be aware of is the next ‘snapshot date’ on 5 April 2018 for private companies and charities, or 31 March for public sector organisations.

Employers who still have 250 employees at this time, taking in to account the wider definition of ‘employee’, need to pull the pay data of their staff. This is the data that will be used to carry out the calculations for the gender pay gap report due on 4 April 2019, or 30 March for public sector (within a year of the snapshot date). 

The definition of ‘employee’ for gender pay gap reporting includes: people who have a contract of employment with your organisation; workers and agency workers (those with a contract to do work or provide services); and some self-employed people (where they must personally perform the work).

Consider an equal pay review

Where the 2018 report has identified a gender pay gap, companies that didn't carry out an equal pay review as part of the process may now choose to do so.

This review, or an equal pay audit, will assess whether any discrimination is taking place in relation to the pay practices of the company. Where men and women are paid differently for carrying out the same role, the employer will need to identify if any objective factors are present that explain the pay disparity. If no objective factors are present, the employer will need to take steps to equalise pay.

Be proactive and transparent

Employers who make commitments to take steps to reduce the pay gap in their 2018 report will need to be aware that employees, and the general public, will be able to track whether they are putting these into practice.

Gender pay gap reports have to be maintained on the company’s website for a period of three years, so can be used to monitor the reduction or closure of the original gap identified.

Employees may also start asking questions about the steps the company is taking; it will be good practice to respond to these questions and explain the proactive steps that are being taken.

Ways to address the gender pay gap

Adopting the measures outlined in the voluntary narrative to address the pay gap will highlight the company’s commitment towards equality and ensuring fairness in pay. There are key areas employers can look at to help address the pay gap, including recruitment, promotion and training opportunities.

When recruiting employees, it is recommended that recruiters avoid asking for previous salaries to ensure that pay rates can be set at a level which recognises the objective factors of the role, such as experience and qualifications, rather than being set according to previous potentially lower salaries. Advertising roles as flexible, and having a positive attitude towards embracing flexible workers, also supports the recruitment of those with childcare responsibilities.

Employers are also being encouraged to provide greater support for women who are moving to, or are currently in, senior positions within the company. Large companies can consider using their apprenticeship levy payments to help upskill current women employees with the management skills that are necessary to gain promotion or leadership roles.

Introducing programmes that look at providing training or support for those who have been out of work due to caring responsibilities will also help to reduce the gender pay gap.

The benefits of a review group

Setting up an internal group to help review and advise on future steps will also aid employers, as they will gain feedback from those within the business.

A working group or internal committee can help to inform future decisions, communicate the steps to be taken to colleagues, and report on the impact on the workforce.

About the author

Suzanne Tanser is reward manager at Croner, which specialises in HR, health and safety, tax and reward, offering software and services to maximise business outcomes. A national human resources and health and safety consultancy, Croner has been helping professionals and organisations since 1941. 

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