Many UK employers are not well prepared to handle the requirements of the new gender pay reporting regulations which come into force in April 2017.
A study by XpertHR, the online human resources information provider, found that many organisations are dealing with reporting uncertainties, including how or when they will publish the results, and who will bear the responsibility for the exercise.
The gender pay reporting regulations will require employers with 250 or more employees to measure and report their gender pay gaps. The information must be published by April 2018.
In November 2016, Sodexo, the corporate and personal services firm, published its findings from its report, revealing that gender pay gap at the organisation was 7.65 per cent.
Meanwhile, the latest figures from the Office of National Statics (ONS) indicate that the UK gender pay gap stands at 18.1 per cent.
Data from XpertHR showed that only 6.2 per cent of employers had any formal mechanisms in place to monitor their gender pay gap before the legislation was announced, while more than one-third said they had conducted “informal” monitoring in the past.
In the public sector 27.3 per cent of organisations had undertaken formal monitoring and 45.5 per cent had completed informal monitoring, while in manufacturing and production, 90 per cent of manufacturers said they have now completed a trial run or plan to do so before April.
Only 40 per cent of companies said they had conducted a trial run of the calculations that will be required to comply with the law, when the research was conducted four months before the regulations were due to take effect.
XpertHR’s Content Director Mark Crail said: “This survey shines a light on the challenges involved in gender pay gap reporting. It highlights that most organisations aren’t yet ready to tackle the practical implications of the reporting and the requirements of the Regulations.
“Most don’t yet know how or when they will publish their metrics and around a quarter plan to delay the publication for as long as possible.
“Whilst this is a highly complex area for organisations to get right and there are potential legal penalties for those who fail to comply, help and guidance are available.
“XpertHR is helping employers get to grips with the issues by providing a range of guidance and support, quick FAQs, and even a full reporting service, where we will do the calculations on their behalf.”
Caroline Dinenage, minister for Women, Equalities and Early Years said: “The gender pay gap is at a record low but we have to push further to eliminate it completely – shining a light on where the gaps are means employers can take action to tackle it in their organisation.
“That’s why we are introducing requirements for all large employers to publish their gender pay and bonus data from April 2017.”