Is gender pay gap reporting in the UK fake news?

19th February 2018

Back in November we reported on the gender pay gap in light of Equal Pay Day, and we touched upon the new law that states that employers in Great Britain with more than 250 employees must publish an array of figures about pay related to gender on the government website.

In November the number of companies that had done this (7 months after the law came in) was just 230 out of over 9,000 relevant businesses. A further three months down the line in February this has now risen to approximately 750. Better, but still only about 8% of what is required by law.

But it gets even more bleak – suspicions have arisen that much of the data entered into the government website is, in fact, fake! This is because a number of businesses have claimed their staff are 50% female and 50% male and that they have a gender pay gap of zero. The government have deemed this to be “statistically improbable” and indeed, on asking companies to double check this information, one spokesperson from a company said, “I don’t think we’ve filled this out right” and another from a different company stated that figures were “entered in error”.

The companies affected by the new law have until 4th April 2018 to enter their gender pay gap data, or 30th March 2018 if they are in the public sector. Not only are the deadlines imminently looming, but the data also has to be accurate by this point. A Government Equalities Office spokesman added that, “This is not an option, it is the law”.

So, why is it seemingly so difficult for companies to get this right?! Surely it shouldn’t be hard to (at the very least) know the percentage breakdown of men and women at your company. And you’d think that business owners would have an easy way to access gender pay gap data at the touch of a button.

Well, here’s the thing…if you have an excellent payroll provider then it’s NOT difficult to access this information, whatever your business size. The best payroll software out there lets you not only audit your payroll quickly and easily so you can analyse exactly what’s going on, but it also includes the specific feature of gender pay gap reporting. So, there’s really no excuse to “not fill this out right”!