Government extends gender pay reporting requirements

Camden council-2015The government has extended its gender pay gap reporting requirements to include large public sector organisations and bonus information.

The new regulations will make it mandatory for employers with more than 250 staff to publish the difference in average pay between male and female employees.

In July 2015, the government launched a consultation to establish what information employers will have to publish, as well as where and when. The consultation closed in September. Details of how the measures will work in practice are yet to be released.

A small number of employers are voluntarily disclosing gender pay data ahead of the government regulations. In November, Camden Council published pay data for its workforce, including an analysis of median earnings across pay brackets according to gender, ethnicity and disability.

The highest pay variance by gender was revealed to be 12% across zone one of the council’s level-six pay range, where female staff earn a median salary of £57,500 and male employees earn a median wage of £64,645.

Across pay levels one-five, which span an average median salary of £18,699-£52,458, variances between male and female pay is below 4%. There is no pay variance in five of the 12 sub-brackets across pay levels one to five and the council’s leadership pay levels.

Upon releasing the data, Sarah Hayward, councillor at Camden Council, said: “We believe it’s important to hold ourselves to account and ensure equality is at the heart of organisation and throughout our workforce.”

Camden Council plans to update the data and publish it annually.

Caroline Waters, deputy chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said: “Publishing the data gives employers transparency with their staff’s pay, but what they really need to do is find the causes of the gaps.

“The government’s measures should improve pay gaps in the long run because a formal requirement moves it to a level playing field.”

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Colin Leckey, partner, employment, Lewis Silkin, added: “Very few employers have already released their data, but those that have show they’re open and transparent, which encourages employee retention.

“Employers need to be aware if they have a pay problem, even if it is through unconscious bias.”