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Gender pay gap reporting: private sector reports show median pay gap of 9.7%

The deadline has now passed for all companies with more than 250 employees to publish their data on the average difference in wages between male and female employees.

More than 10,000 employers published data. The results show that 78% of large employers pay men more than women, with only 8% reporting no pay gap at all. On the basis of the figures submitted, the national median pay gap was reported to be 9.7%, significantly lower than the national gender pay gap (GPG) of 18.4% recorded by the Office of National Statistics.

Large GPGs were reported by:

  • Ryanair (71.8%)
  • Theo Paphitis' lingerie firm Boux Avenue (75.7%)
  • Karen Millen (49%)
  • Construction firm John Sisk (45%)
  • Royal Bank of Scotland (36.5%)
  • Virgin Money (38.4%)
  • Benefit Cosmetics (30.7%, despite women making up more than 90% of each pay quartile at the company).

The finance sector had the largest reported GPG of 35.6%. The accommodation and food services sectors reported the smallest pay gap, with an average median GPG of 1%. This could potentially be explained by such businesses using flat pay rates, with a large proportion of staff on the minimum wage. Costa, KFC, Matalan, McDonald's, Primark and Starbucks reported no median GPG. Some companies reported negative pay gaps, where women are paid on average more than men. These included Tesla Motors (-3.8%), Mamas and Papas (-4.8%) and Richer Sounds (-5.8%).

1,500 companies miss gender pay deadline (BBC, 5 April 2018)
Gender pay gap: Four things we've learned, BBC (4 April 2018)
Gender pay gap figures reveal eight in 10 UK firms pay men more (The Guardian, 5 April 2018)

Gender pay gap reporting: New snapshot date for private sector

Now the dust has just about settled on the first round of gender pay gap reports, the private and public sector has to start the process all over again.

Employers with 250 or more employees on 5 April 2018 (or 31 March 2018 for public employers) have until 4 April 2019 (public employers have until 30 March 2019) to publish data on the Government’s website. Businesses will be expected to show some improvement on their previous year’s figures (although in reality this is probably a longer term aim for many organisations). Those whose figures get worse can expect to be challenged by their own staff and the media.

Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to use full extent of powers to enforce GPG regulations

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has recently said that employers who fail to report their gender pay gap data will be subject to unlimited fines, summary convictions and will ultimately be forced to publish their GPG data under a court order in accordance with its enforcement strategy.

Letters were sent on 9 April 2018, and employers are required to respond within 28 days before an investigation takes place and an unlawful act notice is issued.

‘Last chance saloon’ for employers to report their gender pay gap (Equality and Human Rights Commission, 26 March 2018)

Government seeks views on bereavement leave and pay

Our November 2017 update explained that the Government proposed new laws to give parents the right to take up to two weeks’ bereavement leave to begin to recover from the death of a child. Qualifying parents will also be able to claim parental bereavement pay.

The government has now published a consultation, and is seeking the views of working parents, employers, groups representing working parents and employers, groups involved in bereavement care, and legal, HR and payroll professionals about:

  • Who should be included in the definition of a parent for these purposes
  • Whether the proposed two weeks' leave should be taken in a single block, non-consecutive blocks of a week or non-consecutive blocks of days
  • The period within which leave should be taken
  • Whether notice should be given to take the leave
  • Whether evidence of the right to take the leave should be provided to the employer.

Responses can be made online or by email.

The consultation closes on 8 June 2018 and can be accessed here: 
Consultation on parental bereavement leave and pay (Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, March 2018)

You can read about the draft Bill here.  

Pensions Regulator conducting auto-enrolment spot checks in NE England

The Pensions Regulator has begun carrying out spot checks across the North East of England to identify employers that are not complying with their pension duties. The move is part of a nationwide enforcement campaign which began in London last spring to ensure employers are meeting their automatic enrolment duties correctly.

Company offers self-employed “gig” workers benefits after driver’s death

The courier company DPD is to offer all of its drivers sick and holiday pay and will abolish its controversial daily fines for missing work, as part of wholesale reforms to its gig-working model sparked by the death of a driver it charged for attending a medical appointment to treat his diabetes. The driver’s widow told the Guardian newspaper that her husband had missed appointments with specialists because he felt under pressure to cover his round and faced DPD’s £150 daily penalties if he did not find cover.

The new self-employed worker contract will offer drivers a choice between being directly employed by DPD or working on a self-employed franchise basis. Drivers who choose direct employment will be paid less per parcel delivered to offset the cost of paid holiday, sick pay and pensions.

DPD to offer workers sick pay and annual leave after driver’s death (HR Review, 28 March 2018) 

Published: April 2018

Employment Law Update - April 2018

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Key Contact

Sybille Steiner