The BBC has published the figures of people working within their organisation who annually earn £150,000 or more. The publication showed that out of the 96 people within the BBC who earn more than £150,000 only 32 are women. Furthermore, whilst the BBC’s highest male presenter earned in the region of £2.5 million, the highest female presenter earned significantly less, in the region of £500,000.
Generally, throughout the UK, from April 2016 to March 2017 Employment Tribunals received 8,836 sex discrimination claims and 10,467 equal pay claims. In 2016, on average women earned 9.4% less than men. The disparity in these figures is known as the Gender Pay Gap which demonstrates the extent to which inequality and sex discrimination still exist in the workplace.
Government initiatives to close the gender pay gap
In April 2017, the Government introduced mandatory Gender Pay Gap Reporting as part of a series of steps to improve equality in the workplace. The regulations apply to employers who employ 250 or more people. Those employers will have to publish information regarding pay for different genders within their work place by no later than 4 April 2018. Thereafter, employers must produce and publish an annual report.
What does this mean for Employers?
- The regulations apply to employers who have 250 or more employees on the snapshot date.
- The snapshot date is 5 April of each year.
- Employees are defined broadly to include anyone employed under a contract of service, a contract of apprenticeship or a contract personally to do work. This will include employees, casual works and some contractors.
- Employers will have to publish the following data:
- Their mean and median Gender Pay Gap.
- The proportion of men and women in each of the four pay bands (quartiles) based on the employer’s overall pay range. This will show how the gender pay gap differs across the organisation at different levels of seniority.
- Information on the employer’s gender bonus gap and the proportion of male and female employees who received a bonus in the same 12 month period.
- A written statement, signed by an appropriate senior individual, confirming that the published gender pay gap information is accurate.
- Finally, employers will have the option to include a narrative explaining any pay gaps or other disparities which exist. They will also have an opportunity to set out any action plans to address any evident gaps in their figures.
What if an employer fails to comply?
Interestingly, if an employer fails to comply with their Gender Pay Gap Reporting obligations, the regulations do not contain any punishment provisions. However, the Government has stated that the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) will be able to use its existing powers of enforcement in Section 20 of the Equality Act 2006. The Government has also stated that it will monitor compliance and may establish a database of compliant employers.
Should you require any further information about the regulations surrounding the gender pay gap and how it can impact you or your organisation or for any other employment law matters contact Stephen Watmore or Pranav Bhanot (Solicitors in London).
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