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EqualPayPortalBlogSpot is run by equal pay expert Sheila Wild

29 November 2016

New handbook on taking an equal pay claim

Equinet, the European Network of national Equality Bodies , has produced a handbook on building a case on equal pay. This Handbook, prepared by members of Equinet’s Working Group on Gender Equality, aims to be a practical and useful tool for anyone who works on equal pay cases, guiding you to existing resources, data, and arguments that have been successful in the past.

The handbook is structured to help case-workers in equality bodies, lawyers or other legal professionals to build their case, but the resources contained therein should support and inform anyone looking to gain insight into the challenges and opportunities in litigating for equal pay. In addition, the handbook contains useful and hands-on information for anyone interested in and working on equal pay.

You can download a copy of the handbook here.

28 November 2016

Employment Tribunal decisions to be published on line

All new Employment Tribunal judgments (and possibly some older ones) are to be published in an online searchable database, accessible to the public. The timing of this has yet to be confirmed.

27 November 2016

25 per cent gender pay gap in the high tech sector

New research from Mercer claims that at 25 percent, the gender earnings gap in the UK’s high tech sector is significantly higher than the national average (18 percent). The consultancy also found that small companies have the largest gap, with a 30 percent difference in (median) pay between all male and female employees, and a 26 percent gap when considering mean base salaries. This difference reduces as company sizes grow. 

Where the data allowed comparison of pay between women and men in equal job roles, the pay gap was much smaller, typically 8 percent. This is comparable to the UK norm of 9 percent for this type of analysis. The reasons for this gap is due on further analysis to a multitude of factors including the reluctance of many women to enter the tech field, not enough effort being put into promoting women and a lack of will in promoting flexible working patterns.

Mercer’s analysis of the gender earnings gap in the UK high-tech sector, covered 66,000 employees across 153 companies. The data comes from Mercer Comptryx, a global database covering 106 countries and the UK’s premier source of pay and labour force data for the high-tech and digital economy.

To read more, click here.

11 November 2016

Employers unaware of gender pay gap reporting

Recruitment agency totaljobs set out to discover if female employees in general had lower salary expectations and what can be done to overcome this.

Totaljobs surveyed 4,700 jobseekers and 145 employers. Totaljobs’ research shows nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of women believe men are paid more for carrying out the same job. 58 per cent of men but only 44 per cent of women say that men and women receive equal pay, suggesting that a majority of working women feel salaries aren’t fair. In particular, taking time out for parental leave was seen as a career killer, with one in 10 women attributing their absence from the workplace as the reason behind a missed pay rise or promotion. 16 per cent feel their pay has never recovered.

24 per cent of men and 29 per cent of women say they don’t believe their company actively promotes equality in the workplace regardless of age, gender and ethnicity.

Looking at a UK average across all roles, levels, industries and regions, totaljobs’ research found women have typically lower expectations than men when it comes to salary, anticipating £25,468 per annum compared to £32,030 for men – a difference of £6,562. Similarly, when applying for a new role, women typically expect a pay rise of £3,241 on average compared to £4,107 for men - a difference of £866.

Despite the fact that equal numbers of men and women received pay rises in their current role (44 per cent of men and 43 per cent of women), the research found men received an average pay rise of £1,764 compared to £1,377 for women in the past twelve months, a difference of £387. 

On the question of whether they asked for a pay rise, 9 per cent of men and 8 per cent of women said they asked for it directly and were given it, showing that women are just as likely to ask, yet are likely to receive less. 75 per cent of women don’t feel comfortable asking for a pay rise in the first place, whereas 59 per cent of men do. And across all employees, the majority were granted a salary increase because everyone was given a pay rise (31 per cent), in other words, without asking.

Of those awarded a bonus in the last 12 months, men received an average of £2,059 compared to £1,128 for women - a difference of £931. Almost a third (31 per cent) of women claim they don’t know how their current company makes decisions with regards to its bonus scheme.


Totaljobs’ research also found that one in five employers (20 per cent) are either unsure or unconfident that salaries are equal across the genders. Surprisingly, over half (51 per cent) of the employers questioned were unaware that gender pay gap reporting is in the offing, and more than  half of employers (58 per cent) said that their salary information across roles and gender is not readily available to employees on request. If that is the case, those employers are going to find gender pay gap reporting hard going. 

10 November 2016

Equal Pay Day

Today is Equal Pay Day. This marks the day after which women in Britain are effectively working for free as a result of earning less on average than men. That’s from now until the 31st December
The current overall gap for full time workers is 13.9 per cent.

See what people are saying about the gender pay gap on Equal Pay Day:

Fawcett              Read Fawcett’s briefings.

TUC                      Watch the TUC’s films on the fight for equal pay

The Telegraph    Includes an open letter to Theresa May

The Sun

7 November 2016

IT companies should monitor starting salaries

An interesting analysis from the IT sector shows how women’s expectations help to determine what they get paid and highlights the important role that companies play in the process.

The global IT recruitment specialist Hired set out to analyse its salary data set across gender, location, role and company type. Because Hired candidates set a preferred salary and all interview requests made by companies on Hired’s platform include compensation details, Hired has a unique insight into the salaries that men and women ask for and what companies offer them.

The report is based on information gathered and analysed by Hired’s Insight Manager, Dr Jessica Kirkpatrick, and the data came from an analysis of more than 10,000 offers across approximately 3,000 candidates and 750 companies.

To better understand how the gender wage gap plays out across different roles, Hired looked at women in the fields of software engineering and tech sales. Sales has long been seen as a male-dominated profession, a perception that Hired’s data supports. Women working in tech sales are offered roles with a median salary of 5 per cent less than their male counterparts. In software engineering the problem deepens: women are offered 9 per cent less than their male colleagues, the equivalent of nearly five weeks’ wages.

Entry-level men outearn their female counterparts by 7 per cent, increasing to 10 per cent for men and women with between 2-6 years of experience, reaching 31 per cent for individuals with more than six years’ experience. Kirkpatrick surmises that this, in turn, has an impact on the salaries that women request. Women with less than six years of experience ask for roughly the same salary as their male counterparts; however, as they reach six or more years of experience, they ask for 18 per cent less. The fact that women lower their expectations over the course of their careers after receiving lower salaries than the men they work alongside underscores the importance of companies ensuring equal pay early on.

When male and female candidates in the UK ask for the same salary, the wage gap almost disappears, which is similar to the findings of Hired’s US report. So, one of the most important conclusions from this report is that women who know their worth in the interview and job searching process can and do command a salary on par with men, but the report is clear that  companies play an equally important role in this process, and should consider employing a data-based approach to compensation that determines salary based on an individual’s market worth and not their previous — and possibly biased — salary.
Company-wide salary audits and regular training to ensure that there is no unconscious bias in the pay and promotion process are also good ways to close the wage gap.

To read the report, click here.

What Hired doesn’t say – and companies may not realise – is that, rather than giving rise to an equal pay claim, which is a long and complicated process, inequality in starting pay gives rise to a straightforward claim of sex discrimination in the terms on which the job is offered.  Monitoring of starting salaries, which is less resource intensive than an equal pay audit, is an easy way to identify and challenge this kind of inequality from day one.