HSE Owns Up to 23% Gender Pay Gap as New Reporting Rules Bite
- Date: Friday 12th January 2018
The average hourly rate for female staff at the HSE is 22.9% lower than that of their male colleagues, according to data published to meet gender pay gap reporting legislation. This compares poorly to levels of pay disparity at other comparable public-sector bodies. At the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the parent ministry of the HSE, the declared average gender pay gap is only 5.3%, increasing to 7.1% at the government’s Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service and 9% at the Greater London Authority.
According to the Office for National Statistics, the overall gender pay gap based on median hourly earnings for full-time employees in the UK decreased to 9.1% in April 2017, from 9.4% in 2016. This is the lowest gap since the survey began in 1997.
The HSE’s data show how the unequal distribution of roles held by men and women at the regulator has led to a relatively wide pay gap. Women hold only 27.3% of jobs that make up the top quarter of the HSE’s payroll; on the other hand, they fill 66.9% of roles in the bottom pay quartile.
The gender pay gap reporting requirements, took effect in April 2017, giving employers 12 months to comply. All employers with 250 or more employees must publish the results of six calculations every year:
- average gender pay gap as a mean average
- average gender pay gap as a median average
- average bonus gender pay gap as a mean average
- average bonus gender pay gap as a medan average
- proportin of men receiving a bonus payment and the proportion of women
- proportion of males and females working in each quartile pay band
The first set of data must be made available by 4 April 2018 for organisations in the private sector, or by 30 March 2018 for public sector employers. To date, around 530+ organisations had made their submissions, although approximately 9000 are subject to the new rules.
The information must also be published on organisations’ websites. Organisations also have the option of submitting a “narrative” explaining their figures and what steps they are taking to change them, or to provide a link to a more detailed report.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has been appointed by the government to enforce compliance with the regulations. However, the EHRC has no power to enforce criminal or civil sanctions, which could mean that many companies will fail to report their gender pay gaps accurately – or will not report at all.
As employers now have to make salary information publicly available to customers, employees and potential recruits, it is hoped that they will take new or faster action to reduce or eliminate their gender pay gaps.
Source: Health and Safety at Work