Government Reforms (3): GEO – Gender Pay Gap guidance

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The Government Equalities Office (GEO) has published two new pieces of guidance (available here) for employers to help them identify the potential causes of any gender pay gap (GPG) within their organisation and develop an effective approach to tackle it:

  • Eight ways to understand your organisation’s gender pay gap (available here); and
  • Four steps to developing a gender pay action plan (available here).

The guidance is timely, as the deadline for public sector employers to report their GPG this year is 30 March 2019, while for large private and voluntary sector employers it is 4 April 2019.

In 2018, 100% of employers within the scope of the legislation reported their gender pay data and the GPG in the UK is at its lowest level on record. However, the GEO emphasises that gender pay data only provides a basic understanding of what the GPG is like within a given organisation. In order to be able to target resources effectively to improve a GPG, it is essential for an organisation to know and understand the specific causes of the gender imbalance.

New research commissioned by the GEO and carried out between July and October 2018 has found that an increasing number of companies have prioritised reducing their GPG since the introduction of the reporting obligations in 2017. 69% of employers are now making the closing of their GPG a high or medium priority, up 8% from last year. In addition, 67% of companies are having board-level discussions to look at ways of closing their GPG. The GEO is determined to build on this progress in the coming years with the new guidance and measures such as its Workplace and Gender Equality Research Programme (WAGE) and the Gender and Behavioural Insights Programme.