41% describe gender pay gap reporting regulations as complex

chris charman

Two-fifths (41%) of employer respondents describe the gender pay gap reporting regulations as complex when selecting their top three descriptions of the regulations, according to research by Mercer.

Its Gender pay gap reporting survey, which surveyed 165 UK employers, also found that 29% of respondents describe the regulations as confusing and 28% believe they are misleading.

The research also found:

  • A quarter (24%) of respondents rank burdensome in their top three descriptions of the reporting regulations, and 24% describe them as illogical.
  • 30% of respondents had completed their gender pay gap analysis at the end of May 2017, and 44% plan to report their data between October 2017 and January 2018.
  • 28% of respondents do not know when they will report their gender pay gap data.
  • More than half (54%) of respondents have conducted some form of analysis, such as an equal pay audit or bonus programme analysis, in the last three years.
  • 25% of respondents have analysed data around the promotion of women, and 30% intend to do so in the future.
  • 25% of respondents have set female representation targets, and 19% plan to do so.
  • More than one-third (36%) of respondents have provided unconscious bias training for managers, and 20% of respondents plan to do this in the future.

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Chris Charman, principal and reward expert at Mercer, said: “Although committed to the principle of reporting, many UK [organisations] feel the figures will show an overly simplistic view and so see a need to explain further to their staff and shareholders. Many [organisations] are concerned about the risk of reputational damage when publishing their figures, especially as there still seems to be much confusion between the gender pay gap and the legal requirement of equal pay for equal work.

“Most organisations are focused on getting to grips with the figures and developing a narrative to explain. Leading organisations are well advised to think about how they can be looking ahead in order to be making improvements in future years. At the heart of this is looking at root causes, which can be found in pay, female promotion and the jobs that men and women predominate in.”