The Gender Pay Gap – should you publish even if you don’t have to?

We’re coming up to the time of year when the next set of gender pay gap reports is due. This is the second year that businesses in the UK with more than 250 employees have had to publish data that shows the gaps in pay between men and women. But should you publish even if you’re not legally required to?

The point of the gender pay gap legislation is to prompt companies to look at the way they manage pay, and to close gaps where they exist. As this is the second year, we will now be able to make comparisons between reports from 2018 and the latest set of data – so companies that published poor figures last year will have been expected to have put processes in place to improve things – and that should at least start to be reflected in the 2019 figures.

Start as you mean to go on

Whether your business employs two, 25 or 200 people, it should be making the same efforts to ensure that all employees are paid what they are worth – and that there is no pay discrimination based on gender or any other factor. Proactive companies are publishing gender pay gap data even if they don’t have to, because they recognise that doing so brings a number of benefits:

  • Reputational – taking the decision to publish your data even when you don’t have to shows a commitment to getting things right. Even if your data isn’t great, you can say what you’re going to do to improve things and, as long as you do them, that will help to improve your reputation both internally and externally.
  • Recruitment – if smaller companies can show that they already pay fairly, they will enhance their opportunities to recruit good people. Most candidates would rather work for a smaller, growing company that treats its employees fairly than a large one that doesn’t.
  • Internal communications – your employees are likely to have little or no idea about the way you pay them. Publishing your data gives them an insight into the business, and gives you the opportunity to show them that you are either already doing things well, or planning to do things better. This can reinforce employee loyalty and improve retention.
  • Getting ahead of the game – if you are approaching the 250 employee threshold, it’s better to have the systems and processes in place that allow you to collect and report the relevant data than to have to do it in a rush. Making this reporting part of your HR function puts you ahead of the game.

To find out more about how to gather and report the data for gender pay gap requirements, or to talk to us about how to improve the way you do things, contact us today.

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