The gender pay gap reporting measures

Despite an influx of new gender pay gap data – ranging from negative gaps, to gaps exceeding 60% – the government’s new pay gap reporting measures fail to provide any meaningful insight into equal or fair pay for men and women in the workplace. The requirement to measure pay gaps across entire organisations (rather than between comparable roles within organisations), as well as the omission of necessary data, renders the majority of the findings meaningless. Examples in this briefing, including data from HSBC, EasyJet and Phase Eight, illustrate how the crude figures that have been released create a misleading picture, especially for companies that have hired large numbers of female staff into roles in lower pay quartiles. The only area in which the data has been reported in a usable way is the second-to-last measurement: proportion of males and females receiving a bonus payment. Select data (as of 30 March 2018) for the FTSE 100 companies on this measure reveals a more positive picture for women than the rest of the data. The incentives created by the pay gap reporting measures are not simply to hire more women into senior roles, but to hire fewer women into junior or lower paid roles – regardless of their qualifications – to achieve the closest calculation a company can get to a 0% pay gap.

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