Only a third of private sector employers have done gender pay reviews

Only a third of private sector employers have carried out or are in the process of carrying out an equal pay review, according to research by XpertHR.

This compares with 77% of public-sector organisations. However, the research shows more private sector organisations are doing reviews or audits than in 2008 when hust 24% had done so.

Sarah Welfare, HR practice editor at XpertHR, said: “This is the first major survey of employers on equal pay audits for some time. It shows that many firms continue to believe that the gender pay gap is simply not an issue at their organisation but have not checked their pay systems to make sure.

“More positively, carrying out an equal pay review looks to have become slightly more common in the private sector and is now standard HR practice in the public sector.”

Those who had not carried out a review said they were most likely to do so if they faced equal pay claims, but 30% said they would not carry out a review “under any circumstances”.  Their main reasons for not carrying out a review was that it was not a priority or not a priority for senior management.

Nevertheless, 82% of all employers thought doing a review was “a worthwhile exercise”.  Employers said the positives of a review were to look like a good employer, to avoid tribunal cases and to improve transparency. Only one organisation cited the Government’s Think, Act, Report campaign as a reason.

Most employers who had done a review would not want to publish their findings. Forty three per cent had not shared any information on their findings with employees who were audited. Only three organisations published their results for external consumption.

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