Vast majority of firms say they are taking action on the gender pay gap, says survey.
Ninety-three per cent of firms are taking action to reduce their gender pay gap, according to the latest CBI/Pertemps Network Group Employment Trends survey.
The most common actions taken include improving gender diversity at all levels of the business [50% are doing this] and introducing or improving data collecting and monitoring to understand barriers and monitor progress [40% are doing this].
The annual survey of 350 organisations employing around one million people, shows 88% businesses see a diverse and inclusive workforce as important or vital to their future success and a majority say they are taking action to increase diversity: 62% have improved progression opportunities, 55% have boosted training for line managers in fostering inclusive and fair workplaces and 54% have introduced flexible working opportunities.
Sixty per cent say this has increased their ability to attract and retain people, 50% have seen an increase in skills and capabilities and 47% have increased levels of staff engagement as a result of these policies.
Companies support introducing mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting, but only 17% are already well prepared to do so. The CBI says Government must work with business and give a good implementation period to ensure that all companies are well prepared to report on time.
Matthew Fell, CBI Chief UK Policy Director, said: “It’s positive to see more and more firms putting policies in place which help foster diversity and inclusion. Businesses are embracing the benefits of having an inclusive workplace, from an increased retention rate to better staff engagement, which in turn has led to better decision making.
“The first round of gender pay gap reporting was welcomed by the business community and they are taking steps to tackle the causes of the gap. We know that transparency can be a catalyst for ethnicity pay gap reporting in the same way it has been for gender, but reporting must be developed in a way that is supported by both businesses and employees.”
More than two thirds of respondents (70%) to the survey aim to raise pay for their employees in line with, or above, inflation in the coming year (up from 52% in 2017).
The survey was released on the same day a Equality and Human Rights Commission report said it should be mandatory for employers to publish their action plans for dealing with the gender pay gap and reported that only a fifth had done so.