The Results Lowdown
Midnight 4 April 2018 was the deadline for private sector employers, with more than 250 employees, to report their findings on the gap between the average hourly rate paid to male and female employees. Just over 10,000 companies have published their data, and although the obligations to reveal their gender pay gap came into force on 6 April 2017, many left it until the last day to submit their findings.
Across the business sectors, the results have revealed considerable differences in the pay gap between men and women, with more than 75% of companies paying men more on average compared to women. A mere 14% of companies, including Tesla Motors, Mamas and Papas and Richer Sounds, pay women more on average compared to men, whilst 8% revealed that there is no pay gap at all between men and women; these companies included the high street brands of Costa, Starbucks, Matalan and Primark.
The construction, finance and insurance sectors have reported the highest pay gaps, with the former hitting around a 25% pay gap. Household employers, health, accommodation and food sectors reported the smallest gap with less than 5%. Some companies have suggested that the gender demographic holding senior roles is affecting the higher pay gap and is a reflection of more men holding senior positions compared to women. Other companies, including those in the construction, engineering and aviation sectors, have suggested that the imbalance in the ratio of males to females has impacted negatively on the results.
Reporting of the gender pay gap is not intended to impose sanctions on those companies who reveal a high pay gap, but to raise awareness and trigger discussions as to why the gap exists and what can be done about it. It offers an opportunity for companies to bring about change and to provide for a more inclusive workplace, supporting flexible working practices, tackling bias and the promotion of women to more senior positions.
Failing to report
Rebecca Hilsenrath, Chief Executive of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), has estimated that around 1,500 companies haven’t reported their findings and has confirmed that enforcement action will be taken against any non-compliers.
The EHRC announced on 26 March 2018 that, as the first stage of enforcement, it will be sending out a letter on 9 April 2018 to any company who has failed to submit their gender pay gap findings. The company will then have 28 days to respond and a failure to do so will result in further enforcement action through the courts, resulting in infinite fines and summary conviction. The EHRC is also set to take enforcement action against those companies who have not revealed credible findings.
The EHRC has warned that the enforcement action will be transparent, with the process and terms of reference being made public. Failing to submit gender pay gap findings is likely to lead to negative consequences for the company, putting their reputation on the line as they face adverse publicity and court proceedings.
Snapshot of the findings
The widest pay gap was reported by NWN Media who revealed a gap of 85%. They were closely followed by the parent company of Millwall Football Club, Millwall Holdings PLC and Theo Paphitis’ Boux Avenue firm who both revealed findings in excess of 75%. Ryanair reported a 71.8% gender pay gap, this figure being the worst in the airline industry.
Fashion retailer Karen Millen, in spite of having an employee pool made up of 84% females holding top positions, on average pay men 49% more than women. The bonusses received by women were revealed to be 96% lower than men’s.
How does your company compare to others in the sector? Follow this link to find out: https://gender-pay-gap.service.gov.uk/