Gender Pay Gap reporting staying with larger employers for now
14 September 2018
The Treasury Committee has said that the impact of gender pay gap reporting will be reviewed in five years, indicating that it will not be extending reporting requirements to equity partners and company subsidiaries with fewer than 250 employees before the review takes place.
In August, the Department of Business, Energy, Innovation and Skills (BEIS) Committee published its thirteenth report on closing the gender pay gap, calling for a widening of the present reporting requirements including extending reporting requirements to equity partners and company subsidiaries with fewer than 250 employees.
The Treasury Committee’s response to this report (by John Glen, Economic Secretary to the Treasury and Victoria Atkins, Minister for Women) states that it is important to recognise that the regulations are still in their infancy, with organisations having only just completed the first year of reporting.
The response said that the legislation itself is groundbreaking, with no other country asking for this level of transparency, but they will review it in five years. The government believes that this is an adequate timeframe after which they will be able to properly evaluate the regulations and their impact.
Rachel Reeves MP, Chair of the BEIS Committee, commented on the response:
“Transparency through gender pay gap reporting is a vital first step in moving towards equality and promoting diversity in the workplace, so it’s hugely disappointing that the government has rejected calls to widen the requirements as we recommended in our recent report.
Addressing the gender pay gap is in the interests of ensuring a more equal society, so we will continue to put pressure on companies to comply with the spirit as well as the letter of the law to ensure that the reported data is meaningful and properly highlights the low number of women in high paid jobs.”
The thirteenth report also included recommendations for the gender pay gap reporting regulations to be amended to require more detailed statistics such as changing the salary quartiles to deciles. Also recommended was that organisations should be required to provide some narrative with an action plan setting out how gender pay gaps are being and will be addressed (with objectives and targets).
The response included no mention of these areas so unless we hear otherwise we can assume that reporting will continue with the same requirements and methods for year two as it did in year one. Any change to regulations should require consultation so we will keep the payroll profession informed accordingly of any possible changes in the future.