Gender pay gap reporting

women leaders network

Gender pay gap reporting 2019

In 2018 the government made gender pay gap (GPG) reporting mandatory by amending the Equalities Act 2010 (Specific Duties and Public Authorities) Regulations 2017 so that all public sector employers with more than 250 employees are required annually to measure and publish their gender pay gap prominently on the government website and their own.

Last year, for the first time NHS organisations had to publish their data and we are pleased to report that there was 100 per cent compliance with the legislation from both NHS organisations and all organisations with over 250 employees across all sectors. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for monitoring how public bodies are complying with the GPG reporting requirements and can take enforcement action. 

This year, the figures from the snapshot date of 31 March 2018 must be reported on no later than 30 March 2019. 

Our advice

Organisations should include GPG reporting in annual activity plans, colleagues from ESR have developed reports which will help organisations calculate their GPG data which are accessible via the dashboard of ESR. Business Intelligence Organisations should direct any queries on this facility to their ESR contact. See the ESR website for further guidance on enhancements.

The importance of a narrative and action plan

It is important that you include on your website a narrative and action plan. Some organisations did this last year and found it invaluable to concentrate efforts on narrowing the gap over future years. In the narrative, it may be helpful for you to include the following:

  • Numbers of staff (headcount rather than whole time equivalent) as well as the required percentages. This will help NHS Employers gather a more accurate overall picture of outcomes.
  • Percentages calculated within each band.
  • Percentages of those under Agenda for Change pay scales should be shown separately from those on medical pay scales. This will show if there are any differences in the GPG between pay of doctors and non-medical staff.
  • Any explanations as to why some gaps are relatively wide.
  • Action plans, including access to promotion, flexible working and leadership initiatives.

The EHRC has produced some advice and guidance on closing the gap, and the Government Equalities Office has published guidance which sets out effective actions that employers can take to improve the recruitment and progression of women and close their organisation’s gender pay gap. Recommendations include:

  • assessing candidates based on actual tasks they would be expected to perform in their role, and make interviews more structured to avoid unfair bias creeping in
  • encouraging salary negotiation by showing salary ranges, as women are currently less likely to negotiate their pay than men
  • introducing transparency to pay, promotion and reward processes.

Good practice

The following organisations' GPG reports have been recognised as good practice:

Black Country Partnership
North East Ambulance Service
Pennine Acute
Queen Victoria Hospital
St George's University Hospital

 Each report includes:

  • whether the reported separated out Agenda for Change staff and medical staff whether there was an explanatory narrative as well as a purely factual one
  • whether there was a convincing commitment to future action and an action plan.

What employers need to do

Employers with 250 employees and over will need to publish the following information annually for all employees who are employed under a contract of employment, a contract of apprenticeship or a contract personally to do work. This will include those under Agenda for Change terms and conditions, medical staff and very senior managers. All calculations should be made relating to the pay period in which the snapshot day falls. For 2019, this will be the pay period including 31 March 2018. 

The figures produced should be published by the organisation on its own website in a way which is accessible to both employees and the public. The results must remain on the website for three years. The same information must also be uploaded onto the government website and organisations must be registered before they can upload their reports. Please note that registering on the government website may take a few days to complete so give enough time to input the information. Employers will need to:

  • calculate the hourly rate of ordinary pay relating to the pay period in which the snapshot day falls
  • calculate the difference between the mean hourly rate of ordinary pay of male and female employees, and the difference between the median hourly rate of ordinary pay of male and female employees
  • calculate the difference between the mean (and median) bonus pay paid to male and female employees calculate the proportions of male and female employees who were paid bonus pay
  • calculate the proportions of male and female employees in the lower, lower middle, upper middle and upper quartile pay bands by number of employees rather than rate of pay.

Ordinary pay includes:

  • basic pay
  • paid leave, including annual, sick, maternity, paternity, adoption or parental leave (except where an employee is paid less than usual or nothing because of being on leave)
  • area and other allowances
  • shift premium pay, defined as the difference between basic pay and any higher rate paid for work during different times of the day or night
  • pay for piecework.

It does not include:

  • remuneration referable to overtime remuneration referable to redundancy or termination of employment remuneration in lieu of leave
  • remuneration provided otherwise than in money.

The relevant pay period means the pay period within which the snapshot date falls, which for monthly-paid staff would be the month in which the date is included.

Bonus pay relates to performance, productivity, incentive, commission or profit-sharing, but excludes:

  • remuneration referable to overtime
  • remuneration referable to redundancy
  • remuneration referable to termination of employment.  

Doctors' clinical distinction/excellence awards will be regarded as bonus pay, as well as any other payments above the level of ordinary for performance or expertise such as performance related pay for very senior managers and others. The relevant period means the period of 12 months ending with the snapshot date. 

Download this newly-published information sheet from Capsticks on bonuses and allowances.

How to calculate the quartiles

  • Determine the hourly rate of pay and then rank the relevant employees in rank order from the lowest to the highest.
  • Divide those employees into four sections, each comprising an equal number of employees to determine the lower, lower middle, upper middle and upper quartile pay bands.
  • Show the proportion of male and female employees in each band as a percentage of the total employees in each band. 

Legal requirements

Capsticks have outlined the legal requirements ithis briefing note, in particular how to treat clinical excellence awards and additional programme activities, as well as clarification around who is defined as an employee. 

Next steps

  • Produce the legally required figures, using the ESR reports.
  • Agree a prioritised action plan, gain input from diversity and inclusion leads and other stakeholders across the organisation including networks and staff-side organisations.
  • Involve departments such as communications, recruitment, learning and development, and organisational development (OD) to help deliver the actions. 
  • Gather learning and good practice from other organisations that are leading the way
  • Gain sign-off for the action plan from the board.
  • Share your report and proposed actions with all staff and staff-side organisations. 
  • Communicate progress and achievements within and beyond the organisation.

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