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Top tips for Gender Pay Gap Regulations

Thursday 6th April 2017, Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations come in to effect today, so do you have a plan of action? ICAEW provides some top tips to help organisations get started.

Dr Jane Berney, ICAEW Technical Manager, Business Law explains:

“The gender pay gap is an issue which has recently been in the spotlight in line with movement towards equality in 2017. It is now a legal requirement for organisations with over 250 employees to publish a report on their gender pay gap based on six different metrics. As a result it is likely that they will be expected to explain and act on the results. Organisations should be fully prepared not just to gather the data but to provide meaningful explanations and manage any possible backlash from employees, clients or other interested parties.”

Who will prepare the data, produce the report and sign it off?

This is a key consideration when beginning the process. For some this may be a responsibility for HR, for some it may be the financial department. In either case, make sure everyone knows ahead of time who will be preparing the data, producing the report and signing it off to avoid any confusion or cross-over. This is a time-consuming process which may involve additional training of staff, so be prepared.

Decide how you will discuss the data with your employees

You should be prepared for a negative response to the data. There may be backlash from employees unhappy about pay. Prepare ahead of time to tackle potentially difficult questions and situations. If the pay gap is wide, companies must consider why this is so and how to tackle it. Discuss the best route for your company, whether this is handled on an individual basis or addressed in a company-wide briefing.

Who/what is included?

In line with the regulations you will need to assess who was employed on the snap shot date and what elements of their pay needs to be included in the calculations. Employees to consider include part-time workers, job share, those on maternity/paternity leave, overseas workers, agency workers and contractors. Similarly, consider what is counted in terms of allowances, bonuses and benefits.

Gender identity

If an employee identifies as another gender than assigned at birth, they can be included in their preferred gender figures. Consider how to sensitively approach this in terms of discussion with the employee, whether the employer has the right to know, or what to do if the employee identifies with neither gender.

Jane adds: “This is an important step to improve equality in the workplace. There will be challenges involved but making sure  the data is reliable and transparent will result in  the best outcome.”

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