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Ten ways to make gender pay gap information more reliable

The Royal Statistical Society has published a list of ten recommendations in a bid to improve the accuracy and usefulness of gender pay gap reporting, calling the current system “flawed in principle.” It noted that numerous employers are making mistakes when submitting gender pay gap data, with some employers reporting statistically impossible results.

Key recommendations:

  1. Publish the gap in pounds and pence, rather than as a percentage
  2. Provide free online calculators to help increase the accuracy of reporting with built in “sanity checks” to make it clear when mistakes have been made and prevent statistically implausible entries
  3. Calculate the gender pay gap within each quartile to make it harder for employers to publish misleading figures
  4. Publish each employer's annual results side-by-side to facilitate comparisons and the identification of trends.

Unless the government makes changes to gender pay gap reporting, schools don't have to do anything differently (provided their data is correct). However, it might be sensible to adopt some of these changes (particularly publishing data in pounds and pence) on your website to make the information easier to understand.

DfE publishes new guidance on home schooling 

The DfE guidance on elective home education has been updated and applies to both schools and local authorities.

The number of children educated at home has increased over recent years. Local authorities have important responsibilities towards home schooled children and must make sure they’re safe and suitably educated. The new guidance will help local authorities identify children not receiving suitable education and to take action where necessary. However, the guidance is clear, where home educating is going well, the need for contact should be minimal and only as required by the parents’ own needs.

The guidance recognises that there are cases where home education is a last resort and that these families may require more support. It encourages local authorities to discuss home education with parents before putting it into effect, to consider motivations, the time commitments involved and potential alternatives. Local authorities are also encouraged to consider trends in a wider strategic context, e.g. identifying issues in school provision, or failures by schools to manage attendance and behaviour properly.

Union campaigns for one National Minimum Wage rate

The National Minimum Wage (NMW) has been in force for 20 years. To mark its anniversary, the union UNISON has launched a campaign to get rid of the age bands and pay the same rate to everyone.

It believes that the government can't justify paying less to younger people and that everyone should be paid the same rate for doing the same job.

Its campaign, #OneWageAnyAge, appears to be supported by the Labour Party who attended the launch and said it was committed to raising the NMW to £10 per hour.

The NMW and National Living Wage increased on Monday 1 April.

The National Living Wage increased from £7.83 to £8.21 per hour

The NMW increased:

Workers aged 21 to 24 – from £7.38 to £7.70 per hour

Workers aged 18 to 20 – from £5.90 to £6.15 per hour

Workers aged over compulsory school age under 18 – from £4.20 to £4.35 per hour

Apprentices – from £3.70 to £3.90 per hour.

Worried about the impact of Brexit on your workforce? New ACAS guidance may help

Acas has published new guidance to assist employers and employees in understanding the impact Brexit may have in their workplace.

It explains the potential changes to employment law stemming from the UK leaving the EU, and provides links to the government's technical guidance. The guidance also explains the impact of Brexit on EU citizens working in the UK, provides links to government materials on their rights, and goes on to offer advice to employers when talking to their employees about how they may be impacted by the UK's exit. 

The guidance confirms that tribunal and court decisions appealed to the European Court of Human Rights won’t be impacted by Brexit.

Teachers paying to provide basics for pupils

report from the NASUWT teaching union suggests that teachers are digging into their own pockets to provide basic classroom resources and essentials for their pupils. The report surveyed 4,386 teachers.

Some 20% of teachers said they buy lesson resources with their own money once a week, and 12% said they did so more often. Stationery, arts and crafts materials and books were the most common purchases.

Court of Appeal will hear term-time only holiday pay case in May

Regular readers of this column will be aware of the important case of Brazel v The Harpur Trust, where the EAT made it clear that part-time staff without normal working hours must have their holiday pay calculated by reference to their average earnings over the previous 12 weeks and not by applying a fixed formula of 12.07%.

That decision has resulted in changes being made to the advice given to schools summarised here.

The Court of Appeal is due to hear the school’s appeal on Tuesday 14 and Wednesday 15 May 2019 and we will report back once the judgment has been published.

Key Contact

Jenny Arrowsmith