Fewer than half of UK companies think the requirement to publish their gender pay gap will have any impact on closing it.
The aim of Mercer’s 2017 Gender Pay Gap Reporting survey was to further the research conducted last year, to gain insights from HR and Reward professionals on their perceptions, concerns and plans surrounding the legislation. The report also seeks to understand where organisations are on their Gender Pay Gap journey.
165 organisations took part in the survey in May 2017, with 870,000 employees represented. 48 organisations were from the FTSE350, the remainder are UK subsidiaries or private companies.
Participants welcomed changes in the regulations, as they moved from draft to final, and remain in favour of the legislation in principle. However, less than a half think it will make a difference. It is clear that HR professionals implementing the legislation are concerned about the complexity, difficulty and misleading nature of the measures used. Consequently, it is clear that a lot of effort is expected to be made in clarifying and explaining the results both internally and externally.
- 30% of organisations had completed the work by the end of May 2017 but few have published. Most are looking towards the final quarter of this year to publish; 73% intend to publish a narrative.
- Reported Gender Pay Gaps of those in the study align to the national norm as you would expect; the range of responses vary from 47% to -11%.
- Most organisations are currently focusing on compliance and looking to shift this emphasis to narrative building to explain their gap. Half of organisations have increased their focus on ensuring pay programmes are fair but UK organisations need to be looking more to female talent progression and inclusion, setting goals and promoting gender equal flexibility.
From our When Women Thrive research we recognise that making progress in closing the gap requires fair pay programmes, equal pay monitoring, a strong focus on female career progression and the work than men and women do as well as attention to the broader diversity and inclusion agenda.