The gender pay gap figures…so far

With just 43 days to go until the gender pay gap reporting deadline, only around 1,000 companies have submitted their reports. The number of organisations to have reported so far is significantly below the Government’s expectation.

Between now and 4 April, an estimated 8,000 or so organisations will have to submit their reports – an average of around 240 organisations per working day.

Since the beginning of the year we have seen a significant amount of press reporting and activity in relation to the gender pay gap. Questions have been raised around the accuracy of some data by The Fawcett Society. A number of companies have reported a 0% gender pay gap – a figure which is statistically improbable.

The Financial Times highlighted a number of organisations that had changed their figures after their initial submission. They included Hugo Boss which changed its data three times. While the Department of Education, which has responsibility for the gender pay gap reporting process, does not check the data submitted, the submissions are being tracked by third parties, including the media.

The issue highlights some of the challenges organisations face. Gathering the required data is more complex than many companies initially thought. It has also led a number of organisations to establish whether or not they have an equal pay issue. In the case of the BBC, this led to one of their foreign correspondents Carrie Gracie being called by the Treasury Select Committee to share her views on the difference between men and women’s pay at the BBC.

A summary of the reporting position based on the first 1,000 submissions analysed by workforce analytics specialists Staffmetrix found that:

  • The overall median gender pay gap is currently 10.9% and the mean gender pay gap is 12.3%; these figures are based on the adjusted hourly rate of pay.
  • The median bonus gap is 7.2% and the mean bonus gap is 18.2%.
  • The sector with the highest number of organisations to report so far is the Public Sector with 209 submissions. This contrasts to Mining and Quarrying with only three submissions.
  • The sector with the highest median gender gap is Education with a 20.8% gap. The lowest is Human Health and Social Work Activities with 2.0%.
  • The sector with the highest median bonus gap is Administrative and Support Service Activities with 45.7%. The lowest is Information and Communication with minus 27.9%
  • The organisation to have reported the highest median gender pay gap so far is apparel and textile products company Rectella Limited with 88.0%.
  • There are 71 organisations who have not declared which sector they belong to; these organisations include two well- known law firms, three big professional service firms and several housing associations. Some organisations have reported that the online system did not allow them to select their industry classification during the upload process.
  • There are also 239 private or voluntary organisations who have not had their report signed by a company director or equivalent officer. Of this number, 170 failed to sign it at all, with the remaining 69 reports signed by persons such as office assistants and the organisation’s payroll provider.

Fiona Hathorn, CEO of Women on Boards UK (WOB UK) commented: “As the number of companies reporting in terms of their gender pay gap hits 1,000, it’s good to finally see a few more of the top law firms coming forward; Linklaters and Pinsent Mason have now released their figures alongside CMS Law (Cameron Mckenna Nabarro Olswang Services – now one company). Freshfields and Clifford Chance have yet to publish.

“However, it is still mostly public services (such as Utilities and Telecoms), schools and community companies who have published to date and still very few organisations in sectors that are sure to be of particular interest – Financial Services, Pharmaceutical and the big tech Companies like Facebook and Google. Most of these have yet to release their gender pay gap data, with the exception of one or two such as Virgin Money and TSB. Also nothing yet from Barclays and the investment banks. Goldman Sachs and Citi Bank are notable by their absence as are nearly all capital raising companies. Of the capital raising firms two well-known names have reported, however – Octopus Investments and GE Capital.

“Citi has published their global pay gap, but not yet their UK number – does this tell us something, I wonder? I gather from my contacts in the city that gender page gap consultants are earning a fortune helping financial institutions, in particular, make sense of their pay gaps. Many organisations have not taken talent management seriously, I believe, assuming merit was in play. However, compulsory gender pay gap reporting, combined with the Treasury Charter (which asks companies to set targets for talent management), have resulted in many organisations realising that change is needed to ensure their hiring and promotion process is fair to all as regards information, support and opportunity.

“Fear is clearly gripping many companies, who are not necessarily in contravention of the equal pay laws but who none the less now need to understand, publish and explain their pay data to their staff, clients and future employees. The PR campaign is about to begin. I also note with interest that The Labour Party have now reported, but the Conservative and Liberal Democrats have not!”

*This article was written by Women on Boards.

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