BBC report and the Gender Pay Gap

There was little fanfare in the press following the introduction of new legislation requiring employers with over 250 employees to report on their Gender Pay Gap earlier this year. Now, thanks to the BBC’s recent publication of the salaries of its highest earning presenters, the majority of whom are male, Gender Pay Gap reporting has been firmly thrust into the spotlight.

The requirement

Employers with over 250 employees are required to calculate their gender pay gap and publish the details on their website by 4 April 2018.

This will involve calculating the median and mean gender pay gap based on an hourly rate of pay. They must also calculate the pay distribution divided over 4 quartiles and the number (as a percentage) of males and females in each quartile.

Employers must also publish the difference between their mean and median bonus payments to men and women and the proportion of males and females who receive a bonus.

Why is this important?

The information must be published on the employer’s website and the Government will also publish league tables of organisations’ gender pay gaps. This information will be seen by a company’s  clients, competitors, employees and prospective candidates. A recent survey by the Young Women’s Trust revealed that 84% of women would consider an employer’s gender pay gap when applying for a job.

If the calculation reveals a significant gender pay gap, this can affect an organisation’s ability to recruit in an increasingly challenging talent market. It can also generate negative publicity, affect customer and employee relations, and expose the Company to potential discrimination and equal pay claims.

Are there any lessons to be learned from the BBC’s experience?

There is an option under the legislation to provide a narrative to contextualise the data. Can the figures be justified on non gender based grounds? If so, employers should ensure they provide an explanation in order to “manage the message”.

What should employers be doing now?

Carrying out the calculations is an onerous task and will on average take a company 68 hours, according to the Government’s consultation paper. The method of carrying out and deciding what to include in the calculations is also complex and even the ACAS guidance on the calculation runs to 40 pages!

If employers have not already done so, they should start the process now to ensure they are ready for the deadline

Employers with less than 250 employees who are not caught by the Regulations, may still wish to undertake the exercise and analyse their gender pay gap, given the increasing focus placed on this area by employees and prospective employees. If no gender pay gap is revealed, think of the positive marketing that could follow!

We can help

Boyes Turner Employment Group can help you calculate and prepare your gender pay gap report, prepare an accompanying narrative and offer further training on the subject. We can also offer specialist advice and assistance on this area.

For more information please contact the Employment team or Claire Taylor-Evans on ctaylor-evans@boyesturner.com or 0118 9527284 for further information.

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