Many firms ‘actively tackling’ gender pay gap, survey suggests

A survey carried out by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has suggested that 93% of UK firms are ‘actively tackling’ their gender pay gap.

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The survey of 350 businesses revealed that 60% of firms believe that diversity helps them to attract and retain staff, and a further 50% said it has brought new skills and capabilities into their workforce.

According to the survey, 50% of respondents are seeking to improve gender diversity in ‘all levels’ of their business.

Commenting on the CBI’s findings, Ben Willmott, Head of Public Policy at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), said: ‘For the most part, employers are focusing on improving progression opportunities and on workplace diversity, which are positive steps. But there’s scope to go further, particularly on improving the gender balance in senior roles.’

As part of the second round of gender pay gap reporting, businesses and organisations are required to provide information on their gender pay gap by specific deadlines. Public sector organisations must publish and submit their data to the government by 30 March 2019, whilst businesses and charities must publish and submit by 4 April 2019.

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ONS data reveals gender pay gap has fallen to its ‘lowest level yet’

Data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed that the gender pay gap has fallen to its ‘lowest level yet’.

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The statistics showed that, in the year to April 2018, the gender pay gap for full-time employees fell to 8.6%, from its previous figure of 9.1%.

However, experts have warned that the gap is ‘closing too slowly’.

Sam Smethers, Chief Executive of the Fawcett Society, said: ‘This slow rate of progress means without significant action, women starting work today and in decades to come will spend their entire working lives earning less than men.’

Meanwhile, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) stated that, at the current rate of progress, it will take around 55 years to achieve pay parity between men and women.

The TUC has urged the government to ‘crank up the pressure’ on UK employers, and called for companies to be required by law to ‘explain how they’ll close’ their pay gaps.

Extend gender pay gap reporting to include small firms, urges Committee

Extend gender pay gap reporting to include small firms, urges Committee

A report published by the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee has stated that the gender pay gap reporting initiative should be extended to include firms with 50 employees or more.

MPs have suggested that small businesses are ‘more likely to show a greater gender pay gap’ and should, therefore, be encouraged to report their pay gap information.

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Currently, only businesses with 250 employees or more are required by law to publish their gender pay gap figures on their website and report their pay gap data to the government via its gender pay gap reporting service.

The BEIS Committee’s report was compiled from information gathered from all 10,000 UK employers who were recently required to report their gender pay gap information.

The first round of statutory gender pay gap reporting revealed significant disparities in the rates of pay for men and women. Some 78% of employers have pay gaps in favour of men, according to the data.

The BEIS Committee is calling for employers to publish annual gender pay gap progress reports, alongside comprehensive ‘action plans’, outlining the steps they will take to help close their pay gap.

Rachel Reeves, Chair of the BEIS Committee, said that the next step should be for employers to analyse ‘why they have a pay gap, and then determine the right initiatives, policies and practices to close it’.

Government data suggests 77% of UK firms ‘paying men more than women’

Government data suggests 77% of UK firms ‘paying men more than women’

Data published by the Government Equalities Office has suggested that 77% of UK firms who have unveiled their gender pay gap figures pay male employees more than female employees.

New rules introduced from 6 April 2017 mean that large businesses are required by law to publish their gender pay gap figures on their website. Voluntary and private sector employers with 250 employees or more must publish their figures by 4 April 2018. Public sector employers must publish their figures by 30 March 2018.

The data found that around 14% of firms pay women more than men, and 8% have ‘no gender pay gap at all’.

The Government Equalities Office also revealed that more than 6,000 businesses are yet to publish their gender pay gap figures. Businesses who fail to report their figures before the deadline could face legal action, the government warned.

Commenting on the data, a Home Office spokesperson said: ‘This government is clear that tackling injustices like the gender pay gap is part of building a country that works for everyone. Shining a light on where women are being held back means employers can begin to take action.’

TUC analysis of gender pay gap suggests women ‘work for free for two months’

TUC analysis of gender pay gap suggests women ‘work for free for two months’

A Trades Union Congress (TUC) analysis of gender pay inequality has suggested that, on average, women have to wait 67 days before they get paid, when compared to the average man.

The TUC data was published on Women’s Pay Day – the day when the average female worker ‘starts to be paid the same rate’ as the average male employee, said the organisation.

The analysis found that, in some industries, large pay discrepancies exist: in education, the current gender pay gap is 26.5%; in health and social work, the gender pay gap is 18.9%; and in finance and insurance, the gender pay gap is 35.6% – constituting one of the biggest differences.

The current average gender pay gap for full-time and part-time employees in the UK stands at 18.4%, the TUC stated.

New rules introduced from 6 April 2017 mean that large businesses are required by law to publish their gender pay gap figures on their website. Voluntary and private sector employers with 250 employees or more must publish their figures by 4 April 2018. Public sector employers must publish their figures by 30 March 2018.

TUC General Secretary, Frances O’Grady, said: ‘Companies publishing information on their gender pay gaps is a small step in the right direction, but it’s nowhere near enough. Women in the UK will only start to get paid properly when we have better-paid part-time and flexible jobs. And higher wages in key sectors like social care.’

Data shows many firms ‘paying male employees more than female employees’

Data shows many firms ‘paying male employees more than female employees’

Data published by the government’s Equalities Office has revealed that a vast majority of UK firms are paying male employees more than their female employees.

The statistics showed that around 1,000 businesses have published their gender pay gap so far, but a further 8,000 are yet to do so.

Taking hourly earnings into account, the data revealed that, of the businesses that have published their gender pay gap data, 908 are paying their male employees more than their female employees. 143 are paying female workers more, the Equalities Office found.

30 firms stated that there is no difference in the levels of pay between their male and female employees.

New rules introduced from 6 April 2017 mean that large businesses are required by law to publish their gender pay gap figures on their website. The government hopes that, by publishing this data, employers will be able to address any gaps within their firm, and take action to close them.

Voluntary and private sector employers with 250 employees or more must publish their figures by 4 April 2018. Public sector employers must publish their figures by 30 March 2018.

Commenting on the issue of gender pay gap reporting, Charles Cotton, Senior Performance and Reward Adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), said: ‘Some businesses may be concerned about reputational issues, which may be holding them back from reporting early.

‘They may be hoping that by waiting until the deadline and submitting at the same time as others that their results will get lost in the crowd.’

Mothers in part-time jobs receiving ‘long-term pay penalties’, says IFS

Mothers in part-time jobs receiving ‘long-term pay penalties’, says IFS

Research carried out by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has suggested that mothers working part-time jobs are receiving ‘long-term pay penalties’ as a direct result of the gender pay gap.

The report found that, when compared to fathers, mothers spend less time in paid work and more time working part-time. The IFS said that, as a result, mothers miss out on the earnings growth that typically comes with experience.

Individuals in regular, paid work often see their pay rise year on year as they gain experience: however, the IFS’s research showed that part-time workers, many of whom are mothers of young children, are missing out on these benefits.

The Institute stated that the effect of part-time work in reducing wage progression is ‘especially striking’.

By the time a first child reaches the age of 20, mothers earn, on average, 30% less per hour than fathers, the research also suggested.

Commenting on the issue, Monica Costa Dias, Associate Director at the IFS, said: ‘There are likely many reasons for persistent gaps in the wages of men and women, which research is still investigating, but the fact that working part-time has a long-term depressing effect is an important contributing factor.

‘It is remarkable that periods spent in part-time work lead to virtually no wage progression at all. It should be a priority for governments and others to understand the reasons for this. Addressing it would have the potential to narrow the gender wage gap significantly.’