Employers launch gender pay gap campaign

Major organisations, including Fawcett Society and Women on Boards UK, have backed a new gender pay gap campaign to speed up progress on reporting data.

‘Reset the Timeline’, launched today (4 May) and led by pay gap specialist Spktral, is asking qualifying employers to not delay submitting their information until the extended deadline they have been given due to Covid-19 (Coronavirus).

Instead, the gender pay gap campaign calls for organisations to follow a “sooner, better, more” approach – to do their reporting now, in order to ensure improvements and debate about equal pay are not delayed or forgotten about.

Anthony Horrigan, CEO of Spktral, said: “Most employers should have all the information they need to produce their 2021 gender pay gap figures. As such, organisations are missing out on an opportunity to be transparent about their situation, before implementing action plans and changing things that will speed up progress on improving representation in their workforce.”

According to Spktral’s data, most organisations delay handing in their data until the very last minute, meaning time to make lasting changes or to develop new policies has effectively been lost. It found that in 2018 only 718 submissions were filed up until the last two weeks of the deadline, but in this past fortnight alone, more than 4,500 additional submissions were sent in (see graph).

Horrigan added: “The pandemic is having a disproportionate impact on women due to care responsibilities, furlough and job losses. Now more than ever organisations need to understand how the representation of women and men throughout their workforce is changing so that they can take the necessary steps to curb inequalities.”

Felicia Willow, CEO, Fawcett Society said: “Research has shown time and again that employers who do better with gender equality are more financially successful. We urge companies to report their gender pay gap as soon as possible, so they understand the drivers that have contributed to gaps, and take meaningful action to address them.”

According to Fiona Hathorn, CEO, Women on Boards UK, it is not good enough that the average company takes 11 months to publish their data and clearly the gender pay gap campaign is necessary.

At the end of March, the government announced that employers will not be obliged to publish their gender pay gaps this year. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) called this decision a “mistake”.

Charles Cotton, senior reward and performance adviser at the CIPD, said: “Most organisations should already have the gender pay data to hand, so if they are in a position to submit their figures then we would strongly encourage their HR teams to do so, especially if they have a narrative and action plan ready to publish as well.”

At the time of the suspension only 26% of organisations had already submitted their data.