The first year of Gender Pay Gap reporting through the lens of the payroll industry

27 March 2018

As we are near the finishing line for the first deadline dates for reporting Gender Pay Gap figures, research from the CIPP policy team discusses the experience to date of employers, specifically from the perspective of the Payroll Professional who serves the reporting employer.

The aim of our research was to uncover how the first of reposting gender pay gap results has delivered and look at the positives, the negatives and the lessons learned which for some will provide for a smoother process in the second year.

Payroll Professionals experience the demands of GPG reporting from a number of different stand points, namely but not exclusively: software development; in-house payroll professional; specialist payroll bureaux; accountants, bookkeepers; training and education; technical author.

Our focus was to include employers who have a mandatory obligation to report but also to those employers who have reported their gender pay gaps on a voluntary basis or are considering doing so.

In every area of payroll work there are consequences delivered in the form of one enforcement agency or another, so enforcement proposals from the Equality and Human Right Commission in their consultation paper, together with the fears and concerns of professionals (real or imagined) of the consequences of getting it wrong, also feature in our research.

Some of the findings from our research include:

  • Many calls for a review of the elements of pay and reward that can be included within the average hourly rate

  • Significant concerns raised by the potentially misleading results caused due to the exclusion of the value of salary sacrifice amounts

  • Regulations need to be finessed to match non-statutory guidance - where the average hourly rate will distort the results and the hourly rate is clearly known during the snapshot period

  • Guidance would benefit from the inclusion of more examples

Many factors will need to change in order to achieve full transparency, diversity and inclusion, but what this research has shown us through survey results and in face to face interviews and discussions, is that all sectors within the payroll profession have, as they do with all other new mandatory requirements, engaged wholeheartedly to ensure the successful delivery of Gender Pay Gap reporting.

Our full report is available to read through here.