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EqualPayPortalBlogSpot is run by equal pay expert Sheila Wild

25 August 2016

CMI infographic on the gender pay gap

The Chartered Institute of Management has published a useful infographic from its 2016 National Managements Survey of over 60,000 managers.

In common with other studies published this week, the survey finds that men are more likely than women to get promoted. 

The forgotten women:the gender pay gap and middle age

Good to see my recommendations to the recent Select Committee on the Gender Pay Gap as it affects Older Women being reiterated by the Centre for Ageing Better’s Claire Turner.

Turner points out that while Government can take the lead, employers can do a lot more to help women with caring responsibilities stay in work and manage the impact of caring on their finances and plan for later life. They need to understand how many carers they employ; develop and implement a carers policy; train line managers and help them support carers.
She concludes: “Gender pay inequality is not just today’s bad news story – if not resolved it will add yet another layer of disadvantage for women in later life.

Gender pay gap to close by 2045

In yet another report on the gender pay gap (it's a busy week) futurist, and journalist, James Wallman predicts the gap will close within the next 30 years.

His reasoning is that it’s far harder to hide wage disparity in an age of data digitisation, meaning companies are compelled to be transparent. There is manifest political will behind pay parity, with new legislation meaning that by 2018 all companies with more than 250 employees will have to publish their gender pay gap data. And he argues there are numerous economic imperatives to get women working; if the same proportion of women worked in Britain as in Sweden, it would add £170 billion to the UK economy and boost GDP by 9 per cent.

You can read the full report here

Children are not the cause of the gender pay gap

Perhaps not surprisingly, the Adam Smith Institute has chosen to interpret the recently released IFS Briefing Note on the Gender Pay Gap as showing that children are the cause of the gender pay gap. So, that’s all right then – we don’t need to do anything about it!

What the study actually shows is a correlation between the arrival of children and a widening of the gender pay gap. The study also finds a wage gap of over 10 per cent even before the arrival of the first child – an indicator that it is not children per se who cause the gap.

The study suggests that the gradual nature of the increase in the gender pay gap after the arrival of children may be related to the accumulation of labour market experience. It finds that by the time their first child is aged 20, women have on average been in paid work for four years less than men, comprising nine years less paid work at more than 20 hours a week and five years more paid work at less than half time. Here it is important to note the nature of the sample, for the study is based in part on the British Household Panel Survey which ran from 1991 to 2008 – will women who entered the labour market in the latter part of that period and who will enter it in future, spend as great a proportion of their working lives in part-time work, or will the improvements in both childcare provision and rights to flexible working make a difference?

I wonder too, how much human capital the people – both male and female – who remain in full-time work throughout their working lives actually do accumulate. I hope this is something that the IFS will explore. To give a couple of examples, a medic working for the NHS is likely to experience a quite considerable increase in human capital; a maintenance operative much less so. And what about the impact of people’s attitudes to work? Some want to gain more and more experience, others just want to do a job of work and go home at the end of the day. Can it really be the case that all of the people in the former category are men? Surely not?  The acquisition of human capital should not become another form of presenteeism; being at work in the workplace is not the only way of accumulating human capital, as the value placed on experience gained during a ‘gap year’ shows.

Seeing effect (the widening of the pay gap after the birth of a child) as cause (the birth of child causes the gap) is not helpful. As the IFS Study states, while inequalities in women are of direct interest in their own right, poverty is increasingly a problem of low pay rather than lack of employment, and what the study seeks to do is to understand the relationship between the gender pay gap and poverty.

The study is the first in a series – a fact which none of the extensive media coverage picked up on – and subsequent work in this research programme will estimate and economic model of the causal relationships between men’s and women’s wages and career patterns in order to some of the key causes of the gender wage gap, and hence to provide clear guidance to policy makers who seek to reduce it. In other words, the IFS has not yet identified the causes, and when it does, it will offer ways of closing the gap.

19 August 2016

G4S to run equality helpline

The government has ignored a recommendation from the House of Lords to take the Equality Advisory and Support Service back in house, that is, to return it to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and has awarded the contract to run the service to security services company G4S.

The Service is one of the few ports of call open to individuals who think they may be experiencing pay discrimination, whether unequal pay on grounds of sex, or pay discrimination because of their age or ethnicity, or disability status.

EqualPayPortal recommends that in the first instance individuals should seek advice, not from the Equality Advisory and Support Service, but from Acas.

The Acas helpline can be contacted on 0300 123 1100 from Monday-Friday, 8am-8pm and Saturday, 9am-1pm for free support and advice on matters to do with equal pay. 

Gender Pay Gap Reporting – consultation with the public sector begins

The long awaited consultation with public sector employers on gender pay gap reporting in the public sector began on the 18th August, and will close on the 30th September 2016.
You can find the consultation document here.

This consultation paper sets out:  

  • How the government intends to bring in the reporting requirements for public sector employers;
  • How the reporting requirements will work in the public sector; and
  • A number of questions on the proposed approach.
The consultation is primarily aimed at those public bodies which will be affected by the new reporting requirements and the consultation document provides information on which public bodies will be affected.

The government intends to amend the Specific Duties Regulations in England to include a mandatory requirement for public bodies that are subject to these regulations, with 250 or more employees, to undertake GPG reporting.

Although many public bodies may already be collating and publishing this information under the existing Specific Duties Regulations, introducing a mandatory requirement will ensure that GPG data will be available for all larger public sector employers. In line with the reporting regime that will apply to private and voluntary sector organisations, public bodies will be required to publish data on their mean and median gender pay gap, mean and median bonus pay gap, and information on the proportions of male and female employees in each salary quartile.

Mirroring the requirements that will apply to private and voluntary sector organisations will mean that all large employers will be using a consistent approach towards GPG data collection and calculation.

The government intends to introduce the amended regulations for the public sector by the end of 2016 and, if agreed by Parliament, commence them as soon as possible afterwards. Public bodies covered by the regulations will be expected to capture their first set of gender pay gap  data in April 2017 and publish the information before April 2018, in line with the requirements for private and voluntary sector.

The existing requirement in the Specific Duties Regulations to publish information relating to employees applies to bodies with 150 or more employees, and these bodies are already encouraged to include gender pay gap data in the information that they publish. The government intends to keep this reporting regime in place so that public authorities with 150 or more employees will still be required to report on the diversity of their workforce and consider whether to include data on gender pay differences in the information that they publish.

The mandatory gender pay gap reporting requirements will be added as an additional requirement for those bodies with 250 or more employees. Introducing the mandatory element of gender pay gap reporting to larger public sector employers will ensure consistency with the regulations which will apply to private and voluntary sector employers and build on existing transparency in the public sector.

1 August 2016

Proportion of high earning women remains static

The proportion of high earners that are female has not changed in the last four years, despite initiatives to reduce the gender pay gap, according to new research from global law firm Clyde & Co.
Data obtained directly from HMRC reveals that women accounted for just over one quarter (27 per cent) of all higher rate tax payers in each of the last four financial years. Last year only 1.21m of the 4.47m higher rate tax payers were women.
Clyde & Co points out that although the total number of higher rate tax payers has grown by nearly 1m individuals, the percentage of female higher rate tax payers has not moved for four years.
The firm notes that in July 2015 the then Prime Minister announced new rules that will require UK organisations with 250 employees or more to publish information about the difference between the average pay of their male and female employees. In October 2015 the rules, which are expected to come into force in Spring 2016, were extended to include bonuses and cover public sector organisations, as well as private and voluntary sector employers, explains Clyde & Co.                         
For more from Clyde and Co, click here.
A spokesperson has reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to closing the gender pay gap and restated its intention to require organisations to publish details of their gender pay gap, but has given no indication of when the regulations will be published.