Survey shows employers playing catch-up on gender pay data

gender pay gap


Over half of UK employers don’t know when they might publish their gender pay data, with a quarter likely to leave it till the latest date, according to a new survey from XpertHR.

XpertHR’s survey of 226 employers focused on employers’ readiness for the new gender pay regulations which coming into effect for larger employers from April. It found that only 6.2% of employers had any formal mechanisms in place to monitor their gender pay gap before the legislation was announced in October 2015 – and most say they don’t know how or when they will publish the results of the exercise.

Before October 2015, over half (53.5%) of organisations had no monitoring in place. Just over one-third claimed to have carried out “informal” monitoring in the past, while a handful (7.1%) did not know whether or not they had done so before the Regulations were announced.

Some sectors were more prepared than others. In the public sector, 27.3% of organisations had undertaken formal monitoring and 45.5% had completed informal monitoring before October 2015.

However, in manufacturing and production, none of the respondents reported having formal monitoring in place before the new obligations were announced. Nevertheless, 90% of manufacturers said they have now completed a trial run or plan to do so before the requirement comes in.

The research was conducted four months before the Regulations come into effect in April.  Four out of 10 organisations said that they had conducted a trial run of the calculations that will be required to comply with the law. Some 35.5% plan to do so before April 2017.

However, just under one-fifth (18.8%) admitted that they will only run their data for the first time when the Regulations are in force.

The survey also showed disparity amongst employers about who would be responsible for data collection and reporting.

A third of organisations plan to give this task to their chief executive (34.1%) and almost a third said it would fall to their HR director (30.4%). Smaller numbers intend the finance director to do this (9.4%), while around one in four (23.2%) don’t yet know who will take on the responsibility.

Organisations were also uncertain about how to publish their gender reporting information. The Regulations state that information must appear on a public website and remain there for three years.

A minority of respondents have decided they will publish their gender pay gap data in their annual report (13%) or as a standalone publication (13.8%). However, two-thirds (65.2%) don’t know how they will publish their data.

Employers must also publish their first gender pay gap metrics by April 2018 at the latest – but one in four organisations (23.9%) said they intend to delay this as long as possible, publishing as close as they can to the deadline.

Although small numbers plan to complete the task as soon as possible after April 2017 (11.6%) or at the time of their annual report (7.2%), more than half of organisations (52.9%) admitted they don’t know when they will publish their figures.

The survey also found that two-thirds of respondents expect to commit to a plan to close any pay gap that is identified, while 27.5% said they were unsure what would happen. Only 5% said their organisation would not commit to closing the gender pay gap.

XpertHR’s Content Director Mark Crail said: “This survey shines a light on the challenges involved in gender pay gap reporting. It highlights that most organisations aren’t yet ready to tackle the practical implications of the reporting and the requirements of the Regulations.  Most don’t yet know how or when they will publish their metrics and around a quarter plan to delay the publication for as long as possible.”

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