Just over a quarter of employers and 34 per cent of larger employers conducts any gender pay analysis of staff, according to new survey by the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development.
As the Government’s consultation on n gender pay reporting regulations ends, the survey finds that, of those who don’t currently conduct any gender pay analysis, only 7 per cent of large organisations plan to conduct any in the next 12 months, with 47 percent saying they won’t and 46 percent saying that they don’t know. Under the regulations larger employers [those with over 250 employees] will have to publish their gender pay information by 2018.
The survey shows that action taken by employers to promote equal opportunities for men and women within the last two years, or planned over the next 12 months, is limited and on an ad-hoc basis, with the most common ways of doing so being improving the range of flexible working opportunities available to staff (favoured by 26 per cent of all employers and 34 per cent of large employers). Other ways included developing more inclusive recruitment practices, greater use of mentoring and improving the childcare package they offer staff. However, just 5 per cent of employers (8 per cent of large employers) said their organisation had developed closer links with schools or colleges as a means of improving the gender balance in certain occupations or sectors.
Forty-four per cent of employers said they had no specific plans in the next 12 months to improve opportunities for women, with two-thirds of smaller employers and a third of larger employers saying this is the case.
Dianah Worman, diversity adviser for CIPD, said: “The survey findings demonstrate the need for employers to act expeditiously to be able to deliver what will be expected of them, or risk damaging their public reputations as progressive employers of female talent and undermine their competitiveness in attracting and retaining it.”
The CIPD welcomes the gender pay regulations’ focus on more detailed information like the bonus pay gap and quartile salary bands, but is concerned they may not result in change and may result in less transparency and be subject to misinterpretation if no context is given.
Worman said: “To stimulate employers to act willingly, it is vital to raise awareness about the reasons why addressing the gender pay gap makes good business sense and the good practice that can be adopted to put things right. This calls for a clear and well-evidenced communication strategy and simple, accessible guidance. This should cover how to prepare a narrative report explaining pay gap information and help employers to understand the basis of their gender pay gap and the kind of practical measures they can take to close it.”