Kimberley Dondo reports on what companies will have to do from today to publish their gender pay gap

gender equality

From today thousands of employers will be required to publish their gender pay gap figures, fully enlightening the public on how vast the pay gap is between genders.

Voluntary, private and public sector employers with 250 or more employees will be expected to publish all their figures by April 18. The Government is already working with leading employers who want to publish their figures early.

Currently, the UK gender pay is at a record low of 18.1% but with the transparency, this new reform will bring in, that figure could decrease further. 

Minister for Women and Equalities Justine Greening said: “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. This has helped us to narrow the gender pay gap to a record 18.1 percent – but we want to eliminate it completely.”

The UK will be one of the first countries in the world encouraging employers to be completely transparent about the gender pay gap in their companies. Employers will be required to report:

  • Publish their median gender pay gap figures

By identifying the wage of the middle earner, the median is the best representation of the 'typical' gender difference. Employers will be asked to use data from a ‘snapshot’ period in April to calculate this average.

  • Publish their mean gender pay gap figures

By taking into account the full earnings distribution, the mean look at both the low and high earners in an organisation – this is particularly useful as women are often over-represented at the low earning extreme and men are over-represented at the high earning extreme.

  • Publish the proportion of men & women in each quartile of the pay structure

This data will show the spread of male and female earners across an organisation, helping to show employers where women’s progress might be stalling so they can take action to support their career development.

  • Publish the gender pay gaps for any bonuses paid out during the year

As there is a significant issue around bonus payments in some sectors, employers will also have to publish the proportion of male and proportion of female employees that received a bonus during the year.

The Government will also encourage employers to publish an action plan indicating how they expect to close the gender pay gap within their organisation.

The Government is using the mandatory gender pay reporting as a starting point for plans to support women in the workplace. Other initiatives include £5 million to increase returnships, £13 million allowing councils to deliver 30 hours of free childcare and new rights to request flexible working as well as introducing shared parental leave.

The new regulations would not only help women unlock their talents but could also add £150 billion to the UK’s annual GDP by 2025.

Greening states that “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. 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.”