firms face a standing start on gender pay gap reporting
Government is currently consulting on imminent new gender pay gap
reporting requirements. But, a new survey out shows that less than 1 in
10 firms (9%) currently report any gender pay information and providing
data is going to be a significant challenge:-
83% of firms are
aware of Government proposals on gender pay gap reporting, but less than
1 in 10 (7%) are up to speed in their understanding.
► Less than 3 in 10 companies (29%) are
prepared for the forthcoming requirements and 30% are concerned about
the amount of work required to provide the data.
Challenges; only a
⅓ of firms (33%) have undertaken a pay audit
in the last 5 years; 27% have never undertaken 1 while 45% of firms
don't have an official pay scale.
► Opportunity; 47% see gender pay
reporting as an opportunity to benchmark against peers and other
industries; 38% say that it will help them get to grips with their pay
structures and auditing.
► Context, support and a phased roll-out
will be key to minimising challenges and maximising opportunities, says
A new survey out today by
EEF, the manufacturers' organisation, reveals that 90% of
manufacturing and engineering firms face a standing start when it comes
to forthcoming gender pay reporting requirements. Less than 1 in 10 (9%)
currently report any gender pay information, while many others do not
have the right systems in place to provide accurate and robust pay data.
But despite the significant challenges, firms see the forthcoming
reporting requirements as an opportunity to improve their systems and to
Government is currently consulting on the new gender pay gap reporting
requirements. The survey findings reveal high awareness of the
forthcoming requirements (83%), but low understanding (7%) and little
preparedness (29%). 3 in 10 firms (30%) are concerned about the amount
of work that will be required to provide gender pay gap data.
However, firms will need to contend with significant gaps in their
current pay systems and processes and are in danger of underestimating
the challenges to be overcome in order to provide meaningful and robust
data. Only a ⅓ (33%) have undertaken a pay
audit in the last 5 years; over a quarter of companies (27%) have never
undertaken one. Similarly, 34% haven't undertaken any work to define
pay and job roles, while 35% don't have any measurement systems in place
for various pay grades (35%). 4 in 10 firms (39%) don't undertake
regular job evaluations.
firms (45%) don't have an official pay scale; pay is determined
individually and case by case. Other challenges include having a complex
pay structure (29%) and TUPE arrangements (22%). Some firms (15%) don't
even have a central pay system.
fact, just 2 in 10 firms (18%) have open and transparent pay scales
determined by job evaluation, putting them in a good place to meet any
gender pay gap reporting requirements. Despite this, 67% of firms are
confident of being able to provide robust and accurate gender pay data
and 65% expect that providing the data will be easy. This suggests that
firms may be underestimating what may be required of them, or
overestimating their ability to extract and provide data.
danger aside, it is also clear that firms already recognise a real
opportunity in gender pay gap reporting. Just under ½
(47%) say it is a great opportunity to benchmark themselves
against peers and other industries, while 38% say that the work they
will need to undertake to provide the data will help them to get to
grips with their pay structure and auditing. Over a ¼
(26%) say that gender pay gap reporting will provide the impetus they
need to overhaul their pay structure and to establish better processes.
same time, however, 68% of the companies surveyed say that women make up
30% or less of their workforce and there is recognition that this could
cause a problem when reporting. A ⅓ (32%)
agree that industries struggling to attract women into skilled roles are
likely to have a wider gender pay gap. This means that context must be
provided when the data is published and that every effort is made to
ensure that gender pay gap reporting doesn't make it even harder to
attract skilled women into industries where they are currently under
Thomas, Head of Employment Policy and Skills at
EEF, says:- "The good news is that many
firms recognise gender pay gap reporting requirements as an opportunity
to improve their systems and to benchmark themselves against peers and
other industries. The bad news is that, if asked for the data today,
it's clear that the majority of manufacturing and engineering firms
would struggle to provide it. Not only are there significant gaps in
many firms' pay processes and systems that will make providing accurate
and robust information a real challenge, but there is also a real
concern that gender pay gap reporting could reflect poorly on industries
with low numbers of skilled female workers. It's critical that the data
requirements aren't allowed to undermine the huge efforts being made to
attract women into skilled roles in industries where they are currently
under-represented. If we are to avoid the pitfalls then providing
context to published gender pay gap data, support for businesses being
asked to provide the data and a phased roll out will be key."