friday, 11 may of 2018

UK firms face action over failure to report gender pay gap

Hundreds of companies are being pursued by Britain’s equality watchdog after failing to file gender pay gap data on time.

This year, for the first time, all companies and public bodies with more than 250 employees were legally obliged to publish the gap between the average amount paid to a man in their business compared with the average for a woman.

The data compares men in all roles with women in all roles, rather than those in similar jobs, in a bid to highlight the prevalence of men in high-paid and management roles and to encourage companies to make changes.

More than 10,600 employers have reported the gender pay gap data alongside their bonus pay gap and the proportion of men and women in four different pay grades.

Last month, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which is responsible for enforcing the legislation, contacted 1,500 companies who had failed to report by the 4 April deadline. Since then, some have complied or been found not to be covered by the legislation. However the EHRC said it was still investigating up to 500 companies.

Rebecca Hilsenrath, the EHRC chief executive, said: “Breach of these regulations is breaking the law and we’ve always been clear we will enforce with zero tolerance.”

Under the statutory investigation, the EHRC is obliged to publish the terms of reference within a month of providing employers with a first draft. It is also expected to name the companies being targeted.

After publishing the terms of reference it will gather evidence over a two-week period and provide a draft report within another 14 days. The final report is expected to be published three weeks later after considering representations from the employer or their lawyers.

Those firms that try to avoid the statutory requirement could face a summary conviction, an unlimited fine and be forced to publish the data under a court order.

The Guardian’s analysis of the 10,014 employers who submitted data by the deadline revealed that almost eight out of 10 paid men more than women. No sector paid women more than men on average. The data showed women were being paid a median hourly rate that, on average, was 9.7% less than their male colleagues received.

(Published by The Guardian, May 10, 2018)

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