Going public on workers’ payApril 06, 2017
‘Mind the gap’ now has a distinct meaning for workers’ pay. Wages, salaries and bonuses are about to become public property, as this month sees new legislation that will force some employers to publish gender pay gap information for the entire world to see.
It’s a shocking fact that in the private sector women earn on average 17.5% less than their male counterparts. Pay disparity between the sexes persists, despite the fact that there has been equal pay legislation in place since the 1970s. In an attempt to make employers accountable, the government has now introduced rules forcing larger organisations to publish pay gap information.
The Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 come into force on 6 April. They require all businesses with 250 or more staff to post information on the difference between the pay of male and female ‘relevant employees’ including casual workers and bank staff.
There are six different calculations of average pay and bonus that must be reported, including both the median and the mean average gender pay gap. This must be done within 12 months. The information must be posted on the company’s website for three years and is required to be accessible to the public.
The regulations intend to create negative publicity for companies whose gaps gape greatest! They will doubtless shine a spotlight on pay disparities and could lead to staff becoming more inquisitive and militant about their rights.
It’s a good time to remember that male and female colleagues performing roles of equal value (even if different jobs) must be paid the same unless there is an objective justification for paying different rates. All employers should heed this warning to get their houses in order with regard to equality of pay and other contractual terms.
Even if your business is not caught by the new rules, we recommend you take positive steps to ‘mind the gap’. For pay and any other employment law queries, please contact us on 0117 930 8408.
Minimum and National Living Wage Increase
The national minimum wage and national living wage increased on 1 April 2017.
The national living wage was brought in last year creating another tier of pay specifically for workers and employees over the age of 25.
Employers who fail to pay their eligible staff the minimum can face a penalty of up to £20,000 per claim. HMRC also publish a list of those who have not met these obligations. Such bad publicity could pose a risk of losing business from ethically conscious clients or customers or from the public sector.
It is important to note that you may be due to pay your workers national minimum wage/national living wage for tasks done before they officially start work, commuting time (if there is no fixed place of work), time on call as well as various other scenarios. If in any doubt as to what should be paid, contact one of our employment specialists on 0117 929 0451.