Forum

Latest News
  • Will Croft elected Leader of the Conservative party
  • South Pacific nations agree new alliance to counter China
  • Budget 2016: Chancellor faces global slowdown
  • Ministers embarrassed by ‘Legion’ leak
{"effect":"fade","fontstyle":"normal","autoplay":"true","timer":4000}
MS-08 - Gender Pay ...
 

MS-08 - Gender Pay Gap Reporting  

  RSS

General Goose
(@general-goose)
Member
Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 362
17/06/2019 7:16 pm  

Mr Speaker,

The purpose of this statement is to announce that the government is to roll out the gender pay gap reporting requirements under the Equality Act 2010. The purpose of this reporting will be to promote equality and opportunity by means of transparency: allowing stakeholders such as consumers and employees to demand better from companies that aren’t doing enough, to enable companies to better compare and improve upon their own work practices, to allow study for the economic framework as a whole.

Any organisation that employs 250 people or more in England, Scotland or Wales - or subject to English, Scottish or Welsh employment law - will be required to collect, report and publish certain details on their gender pay figures. Part-time employees and those in job-share arrangements will be treated identically to other employees for the purpose of these reporting requirements. When a given employee has more than one occupation within an organisation, it will be up to the employer whether to count them as separate entities or not - they are urged, however, to adopt a consistent methodology. Employers will be required to divulge any methodological decisions such as these.

When private sector organisations are part of a group, each component of that group must report individually if it would have been eligible in its own right. Corporate groups can also submit a combined report - which will be compulsory if part of the workforce does not otherwise fall under reporting requirements.

To establish a timeframe, the first reporting period will run from September 2016 to September 2017. This will give businesses sufficient time to devise and implement processes and procedures needed to accurately provide the necessary data, as well as sufficient time for troubleshooting any implementation problems that may arise. The reporting deadline shall be 30 September for public sector organisations, 5 October for businesses, charities and other private sector organisations.

The figures will be calculated in reference to a specific “snapshot date” - the day after the reporting deadline - in order to provide a picture of the current position at the company, as well as any substantial variations or changes made throughout the year. The figures that will be required include both the mean and median gender pay gap in hourly pay, the mean and median gender pay gap in bonus pay, the proportion of males and females receiving bonus payments, and the proportion of males and females in each pay quartile. This data must be published on the organisation’s website and submitted to the government using a gender pay gap reporting service to be set up.

We will be consulting on measures to require the inclusion of partner compensation for organisations where it is believed that that makes up a considerable part of the overall pay picture and, in sectors that are deemed appropriate and the data is attainable, the voluntary reporting of agency workers and subcontractors. This will allow, over time, for measures on including these aspects of the modern workplace wholly and accurately in reporting figures, while not forcing overly burdensome compliance costs or implementing unsuitable comparison metrics at this early stage. It is important, in the long term, that we capture as full a picture of the workplace as possible, but also important that we do not attach reporting mechanisms designed for one type of employment onto an unsuited category. As such, we are getting the ball rolling on developing more comprehensive measures for partner compensation and subcontracting, but for now, including such data within gender pay gap reports will be voluntary - or imposed on individual organisations on an ad hoc basis if there is reason to believe they are using these mechanisms in order to artificially improve their figures.

If a company fails to report its figures comprehensively or on time, the Equality and Human Rights Commission will develop a system of fines, in accordance with the law, the principles of culpability and proportionality, and with the express and sole purpose of encouraging compliance, to be levied. The EHRC may also require, with due notice and opportunities for appeal, new reporting requirements for given organisations, provided those requirements are reasonable, if they have reason to believe that a company is using structural decisions to distort their figures or that they are otherwise falling short of legal obligations. These extra reporting requirements could include necessitating extra qualitative data or making an action plan on pay inequalities mandatory.

We are also launching a consultation on requiring, as a supplement to these regulations and to promote a general culture of pay transparency and accountability, companies to publish the ratio between top and median pay and to report on the portion of employees on less than local living wages. We will be developing regulations on rolling out these reporting standards as compulsory in public sector organisations and in using procurement and contracting power to support their adoption in the private sector. In all of these cases, we will be, as an adjunct process to the new pay gap reporting requirements, providing support, encouragement and publicity to all companies who are implementing these efforts.

We will also be supporting the development of voluntary schemes for businesses to report information on ethnicity, race and disability pay gaps. Making these compulsory is, for a myriad of reasons, not plausible, but in cases where it is plausible, we want to support interoperability between different reporting systems and enable reliable comparisons between data sets, we will be developing voluntary schemes for companies and organisations to sign up to.

Graham Adiputera (Lib Dem - Sutton and Cheam)
Deputy Prime Minister
Liberal Democrat Leader
Foreign Secretary
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Climate Change
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Technology

Parliamentary - 36
Media - 53
Policy - 48


Quote
William (Will) Conway
(@will-conway)
MP for Milton Keynes North
Joined: 5 months ago
Posts: 99
21/06/2019 1:04 am  

Mr. Speaker,

Can the Right Honorable Gentleman share with this House an estimate as to the amount of time and money this initiative will cost the businesses he mentions? 

And can the Right Honorable Gentleman share with this House the estimated cost to the public of this initiative, such as the setting up of a "gender pay gap reporting service?"

Will Conway
Conservative
MP for Milton Keynes North (2014- )
Shadow Secretary of State for Energy,
Environment and Climate Change (2016)

Parliamentary 16
Media 14
Policy 8


ReplyQuote
General Goose
(@general-goose)
Member
Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 362
21/06/2019 8:39 am  

Mr Speaker,

I thank the honorable member for his questions. With regards to the first one, we estimate that the costs on business, in both time and money, will be relatively light. It is impossible to provide more qualitative data in regards to this question in a general sense - though this is something we will, of course, be monitoring - as the exact numbers will vary massively from business to business. However, we do believe that, as most of these requirements involve collating and analysing data that businesses should already be collecting.

Of course these requirements could be more onerous on smaller businesses, which is one reason why we fixed the threshold at 250 employees or more - a business of that size should have the human resources capacity to make this work. Another reason why we placed the threshold at 250 employees is below that level, statistical differences rapidly become far less informative. 

Regarding the costs to the public, additional costs will be negligible, largely being paid for by existing appropriations to the Equality and Human Rights Commission and the Government Equalities Office. We estimate that the cost of setting up the reporting website itself will be approximately £2 million. 

Graham Adiputera (Lib Dem - Sutton and Cheam)
Deputy Prime Minister
Liberal Democrat Leader
Foreign Secretary
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Climate Change
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Technology

Parliamentary - 36
Media - 53
Policy - 48


ReplyQuote
Macmillan
(@dylan-macmillan)
MP for North East Bedfordshire
Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 560
21/06/2019 1:09 pm  

Mr Speaker may I welcome the Deputy Prime Minister to this House and thank him for an advanced copy of his statement. I would also like to thank him for his implementation of a policy which I believe I would be correct in saying appeared in all three main party manifestos. Sexism in the World of business with regards to paying people of either gender different amounts for the same work or work of equivalent value is unacceptable and it is right that this audit can come in to ensure that such practices are discovered and ended in accordance with decades of UK, EU, and judicially-led law.

Mr Speaker I would however raise one question to the Right Honourable Gentleman. The criteria for the Equal Pay reporting seems to be eminently sensible except it actually bears no resemblance to UK law on the crucial issue that I raised. I would ask the Secretary of State why the criteria for reporting do not make mention of comparing pay across the same role or roles of similar requirements? If you compare the pay of a male CEO against a female postal worker or the pay of a female CEO against a male receptionist then you will of course get results that present a particular picture, but not an altogether fair one.

Mr Speaker would the Right Honourable Gentleman agree with me that with the amount of disinformation on both sides of this issue the Government should seek to avoid adding to the confusion by comparing apples with apples rather than by comparing apples with oranges? If we want to talk about women being passed over for promotion then that is a conversation that is entirely worth having and I would welcome proper cross-party action on that subject in the immediate future, but I don't think that conversation should be had now in relation to this specific measure.

Conservative MP for North East Bedfordshire
Leader of the Opposition (2014-16)

Prime Minister (2014)

Parliamentary Experience: Novice (25)
Media Experience: Experienced (62)
Policy Experience: Novice (29)


ReplyQuote
General Goose
(@general-goose)
Member
Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 362
22/06/2019 1:51 am  

Mr Speaker,

I thank the leader of the opposition for his questions and it is certainly laudable that there is considerable cross-party interest in this issue. 

Before I can answer his question directly: the purpose of gender pay gap reporting is not just simply to ensure compliance with UK law. There are, after all, provisions and mechanisms already in place to ensure equal pay for equal work and this supplements that.

The purpose of reporting here is not just to enable legal compliance - at least, not exclusively - but more to enable an understanding of gender pay inequalities across sectors and across society as a whole, even when each act that contributes to that inequality may be, individually, legal and proper. It is to enable discussions not just about unfair pay differentials within similar posts, but broader discussions about company culture surrounding promotion, hiring, bonuses and so on. It is about the pay gap as a whole, not just in the specific context that he talks about it being within, and not in facilitating comparisons between specific employees. 

Now, with that clarification in place, much of the force behind his question disappears, as we now see that this is not intended solely to enforce equal pay for equal work legislation, but to understand broader dynamics within the labour market and use transparency, accountability and data to fix them. There is no comparing apples to oranges here. We are examining the whole market. 

Additionally, one point must be made about requesting the information that he asks to be included in reporting mechanisms. That would be, I think, either redundant - duplicating enforcement of equal pay laws already in place - or overly onerous and prone to substantial disagreement about qualitative categories. 

Graham Adiputera (Lib Dem - Sutton and Cheam)
Deputy Prime Minister
Liberal Democrat Leader
Foreign Secretary
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Climate Change
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Technology

Parliamentary - 36
Media - 53
Policy - 48


ReplyQuote
Dan
 Dan
(@dan)
Member A-team
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 139
30/06/2019 11:38 am  

Order!

The House shall now move onto other business.

Dan

A-Team


ReplyQuote
Dan
 Dan
(@dan)
Member A-team
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 139
30/06/2019 11:56 am  

Result

Labour

Where are you?

Conservatives

Some good challenges around Equal Pay reporting. Well done for turning up. 

1 + Parliament Macmillan

Lib Dems

A detailed announcement and well defended, some decent replies to the opposition

1+ Parliament Adiputera

Lib Dem win 

Dan

A-Team


ReplyQuote
Share: