A mere five UK employers publish gender pay gap reporting info to date

Although the new regulations came into force on 6 April and those affected have until April 2018 to conform, the government had been hoping for speedier compliance.

A mere five out of a potential 9,000 employers have so far complied with new requirements to publish gender pay gap information on a UK government website.

The regulations, which require all private and public sector organisations with more than 250 employees to publish annual figures relating to mean and median pay disparities between their male and female workers, came into force on 6 April – although those affected have until April 2018 to conform.

Organisations that have so far published pay gap details on the government website include a wind-blind company in Cheshire, an umbrella firm in Colchester and a cleaning business in Knowsley, but the government had been hoping for a larger flurry of initial compliance.

Chris Charman, a principal in HR consultancy Mercer’s talent business, told the Financial Times, there were a couple of reasons for organisations’ reluctance to upload their data.

Firstly, the figures were difficult for some to calculate, particularly as they had not had much time to do so. The data needs to be a snapshot of pay on 5 April this year, but if organisations pay their workers monthly, it would mean they have only had access to it since the end of April.

Secondly, some companies are worried about their reputation and how the figures will make them look both internally and externally. “Many organisations are looking at it from a point of view of – and lawyers are advising this as well, I believe – ‘go late, get lost in the noise when it all happens at the end. Don’t be the first one to poke your head up above the parapet’,” Charman explained.

As a result, in order to manage the risk of being accused of paying women less for doing the same job, which is illegal, many businesses are working on a suitable “narrative” to publish alongside the data to explain any gaps and possible policies to improve them.