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Gender Pay Gap Reporting – ‘Myths V Facts’

8th March 2018

Pay gap spelled out in scrabble tiles

This topic – Gender Pay Reporting – will be at the forefront for many companies at the moment, if they employ over 250 employees. This is because the date for publishing their gender Gap figures looms very close – The deadline to report is 4 April 2018 (or 30 March 2018 for public sector employers). Whilst researching this topic on the ACAS website and I came across this content, which I thought would be good to share. – ‘Myths V Facts’

MYTH:  We did an equal pay audit a while ago so we’re fine

FACT: Equal Pay deals with comparing one job with another – the gender pay gap is about the difference in gender pay across a whole organisation

JME: It is essential not to confuse the terminology when writing internal communications – Equal pay has legal and cost implications – be mindful not to encourage bringing about equal pay claims

MYTH: I only have a few female employees, I won’t make a difference

FACT: Every employee matters. And, chances are you might be in a business where women are underrepresented and you’re losing out on a massive talent pool.

JME: HR has a key role to play in promoting strategies to improve Gender Pay Gap

MYTH: There’s not much of a gender pay gap these days is there?

FACT: Over time, things have improved but there is more to do – for example the Office for National Statistics has revealed that male financial managers and directors still earn 32.4% more than women in the same occupation.

JME: Awareness has heightened but more can be done practically to reduce the Gender Pay Gap  

MYTH: It’s always women who receive less money than men

FACT: Whilst it’s often the case that on average women earn less money than men in many workplaces, sometimes it can be men – pay gap reporting can help here too.

JME: The statistics help management decision making – it’s the actions that are taken that matter

MYTH: It’s going to cost lots of money to get rid of my gender pay gap

FACT: Many changes involve addressing attitudes and practices rather than your bank balance – and some will save you money whilst improving staff retention.

JME: Not necessarily will it add to costs as the improvement can be shown over time and the resolutions do not have to cost money.

MYTH: Does this mean I can’t reward talented staff for hard work anymore?

FACT: Things like qualifications, outstanding achievements and a certain amount of relevant experience may be proper business reasons to reward people – but an employee’s gender isn’t one of them.

JME: Having rationale behind your decision making is no bad thing. HR have a role to play in calibration, fairness and equity.

MYTH: These figures are just going to embarrass me

FACT: You’re probably more worried than you need to be. The important thing is to develop an action plan informed by the facts and provide a narrative, then post it.

JME: Some very reputable organisations have already published their figures and they are surprisingly high – it’s what you do about it that really matters – need a plan to deliver an improvement

MYTH: I need to be a maths genius to understand this stuff

FACT: There’s a bit to learn up front, but it really is about gathering your information and carrying out basic calculations using standard computer software – you might even have payroll software (or an amazing stats-loving employee) to help.

JME: The statutory reporting is not too onerous but internally when looking closer at the numbers yes, it’s good to utilise experts in analytics, if you have access to it

MYTH: There’s no business advantage to this at all

FACT: Global consultancy McKinsey estimates that bridging the UK gender gap in work has the potential to create an extra £150 billion on top of 2025 business-as usual GDP forecasts.

JME: It makes good business sense in any event in terms of a people strategies

MYTH: This is a lot of extra work – we already have an equality action plan

FACT: If you have an equality plan or similar, that’s great – build gender pay actions into it, but just remember to have the calculations clearly published on your website.

JME: Yes, it does need co-ordinating and by engaging the employees across your business in different roles can share the responsibility and provide the opportunity for creative thought on identifying areas for improvement.


If you would like advice to help you build your Gender Pay Gap action plan – let us know –  please get in touch with our expert team on +44 (0)78 9183 9136.