Concerns over the way employers have to report gender pay gap

Gender pay gap reporting is “flawed in principle” and must be altered to simplify the process for employers to generate clearer results and avoid gaming of the system, a report has suggested.

The Royal Statistical Society (RSS) has made 10 recommendations to improve pay gap reporting, reduce ambiguities and make it easier to assess employers’ progress.

Numerous organisations entered their pay gap data incorrectly in 2017/18, according to the report and it has been suggested that an online calculator tool should be made available to businesses with inbuilt ‘sanity checks’ to prevent the submission of anomalous and incorrect data.

In the first round of reporting, one employer stated it had a gender pay gap of 121 per cent, the report noted, which would have meant the median female employee earning negative £0.21 for every £1 earned by her median male counterpart. The RSS has also called for gender pay data to be submitted in pounds and pence, as using percentages leaves too much room for confusion.

Currently, there are four statistical methods for calculating the percentage difference in pay gaps and despite the Government recommending one option, evidence suggests some organisations calculate their result using others, which creates inconsistent data.

Employers’ records also should be published side by side rather than on a standalone basis, for transparency and comparability.


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