How to close the gender pay gap

Date: 11 February 2019

Male and female symbols on piles of coins

The government has published new guidance for employers to help them identify why they have a gender pay gap and how to take action to close it.

The Government Equalities Office (GEO) has published two new pieces of guidance on the gender pay gap (GPG). Eight ways to understand your gender pay gap is aimed at helping companies to identify areas for improvement, including disparities in starting salaries, gender-biased performance scores and the impact of part-time working and parental leave on pay. Alongside this, a four-step guide explains how to develop an effective gender pay gap action plan.

GEO research has found that more companies have prioritised reducing their gender pay gap since the introduction of gender pay gap legislation in 2017; 69% of employers now view closing the GPG as a high or medium priority, an increase of 8% on last year.

"The gender pay gap is at its lowest level on record, but that is still not good enough if we want to achieve real gender equality in the workplace," said minister for women Victoria Atkins.

"Last year, 100% of companies in scope reported their pay gap data, but they now need to take steps to put an end to this inequality. These steps include better engagement from senior leadership, more open conversation about why organisations have a gender pay gap and improving recruitment practices. We want employers to understand the causes of their gender pay gap and create action plans that will close those gaps for good."

With 10,000 companies reporting their pay gaps last year, the research also shows that 67% of companies are having discussions at board level to find ways of closing the gap.

The next gender pay reporting deadline for large private and voluntary sector employers is 4 April. Public sector organisations have to report by 30 March.

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