UK employers failing to report gender pay gap will face “unlimited fines” UK employers failing to report gender pay gap will face “unlimited fines”

UK employers failing to report gender pay gap will face “unlimited fines”
03 Apr 2018

UK organisations that fail to comply with the government’s gender pay reporting process will face “unlimited fines”, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has confirmed.

With deadlines of 30 March for public sector bodies and 4 April for private sector businesses, it is thought that as many as one in 10 organisations could fail to submit their data in time.

Charles Cotton, senior reward adviser at the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development told People Management: "We could see a lot of organisations complying at the last moment – many may have already pencilled in that they would report at the end of March, although this sends out a negative message to stakeholders about the importance they have afforded this issue. And it might be that we see hundreds or thousands of organisations that have not complied by the final deadline."

The EHRC will write to all eligible organisations that have failed to publish their gender pay data on 9 April, giving them 28 days to comply with the law. The number of non-compliant companies will be published on social media. If they still fail to do so, they could be taken to court, where the EHRC would seek an unlimited fine.

But Kate Palmer, head of advisory at HR consultancy Peninsula, said: "As with any promised enforcement action, the true impact of it remains to be seen and will depend on factors such as the EHRC having sufficient resources to deal with non-complying employers."

Cotton, on the other hand, warned organisations not to expect the enforcement process to be limited to large private sector companies.

"All employers are required to report, not just private companies – private schools, trade unions, charities and professional trade bodies could be just as likely to be taken through the courts and fined as private employers," he said.

In many of the organisations that have reported so far, the high gender pay gap is down to a tendency to promote men, rather than women, to the highest positions. According to figures analysed by People Management, there are four times more men than women in Britain’s highest-paid roles. Moreover, while there are proportionately more female employees who receive bonus pay, most organisations operate a bigger bonus pay than salary gap.

Managing partner for talent at Deloitte UK Emma Codd said: "These calculations again serve as a stark reminder that we don’t have enough women in senior roles – this is not about unequal pay but the shape of our firms."

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Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

UK organisations that fail to comply with the government’s gender pay reporting process will face “unlimited fines”, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has confirmed.

With deadlines of 30 March for public sector bodies and 4 April for private sector businesses, it is thought that as many as one in 10 organisations could fail to submit their data in time.

Charles Cotton, senior reward adviser at the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development told People Management: "We could see a lot of organisations complying at the last moment – many may have already pencilled in that they would report at the end of March, although this sends out a negative message to stakeholders about the importance they have afforded this issue. And it might be that we see hundreds or thousands of organisations that have not complied by the final deadline."

The EHRC will write to all eligible organisations that have failed to publish their gender pay data on 9 April, giving them 28 days to comply with the law. The number of non-compliant companies will be published on social media. If they still fail to do so, they could be taken to court, where the EHRC would seek an unlimited fine.

But Kate Palmer, head of advisory at HR consultancy Peninsula, said: "As with any promised enforcement action, the true impact of it remains to be seen and will depend on factors such as the EHRC having sufficient resources to deal with non-complying employers."

Cotton, on the other hand, warned organisations not to expect the enforcement process to be limited to large private sector companies.

"All employers are required to report, not just private companies – private schools, trade unions, charities and professional trade bodies could be just as likely to be taken through the courts and fined as private employers," he said.

In many of the organisations that have reported so far, the high gender pay gap is down to a tendency to promote men, rather than women, to the highest positions. According to figures analysed by People Management, there are four times more men than women in Britain’s highest-paid roles. Moreover, while there are proportionately more female employees who receive bonus pay, most organisations operate a bigger bonus pay than salary gap.

Managing partner for talent at Deloitte UK Emma Codd said: "These calculations again serve as a stark reminder that we don’t have enough women in senior roles – this is not about unequal pay but the shape of our firms."

E

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

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