We all want a happy, productive team that reflects the customers we serve and the communities we are a part of. To do that, it is important to create a more gender-balanced and diverse working environment.
Women make up 47% of the entire workforce, yet sadly only a third (35%) of managers, directors and senior officials are women. This continues through the ranks of seniority, with only 5% of FTSE 100 CEOs being women earning on average 77% less than their FTSE 100 male counterparts.
Together we need to bring about real change and narrow the gender pay gap. But what are the things employers need to know to protect their workers? Here are 5 Things Employers Need To Understand About Equal Pay By Group HR Director of Personal Group Rebekah Tapping.
It’s a legal requirement
The law on equal pay depends on the country you are based in. In the UK, the law is set out in the ‘equality of terms’ provisions of the Equality Act 2010 (the Act). Here ‘pay’ includes the complete pay and benefits package given to employees, so bonuses, hours of work, sick pay, or company cars must be equal.
Employees who are paid fairly are more committed
Although equal pay should be an essential part of running a business when employees are rewarded fairly for their work, they are more likely to put in extra effort and pitch in to help others. This higher level of commitment can lead to better job performance. When employees think they’re underpaid, they are far more likely to look for a new job.
Career progression should be equal
Did you know that women ask for promotions and raises just as often as men? Yet women are still promoted more slowly and paid less — and these problems are worse for women of colour. Make sure you are giving everyone the same opportunities by auditing staff reviews and promotions regularly. This makes sure you are not systematically marking men more highly and promoting them faster. Train managers so they understand the impact of gender bias on their decision-making. Finally, put clear and consistent criteria in place to reduce bias in staffing decisions and performance reviews.
Gender reporting must not be neglected
Being open and transparent about your progress will go a long way towards addressing equal pay. In some countries, including the UK, it is compulsory for companies with more than 250 employees to report their gender pay gap figures at the end of every fiscal year. In 2020, however, gender pay reporting was put on hold due to the many pressures facing organisations. Companies will soon be back in the spotlight and will be expected to demonstrate that they acted fairly throughout the crisis.
Know when to seek support on improving equal pay
If you don’t have enough time or bandwidth to review your policies, bring in a third-party who will be able to help you work through assessing and narrowing your gender gap.
Women need to continue to fight for equality, however, employers have a duty of care and can play an active role in achieving balance. Actions speak louder than words, and companies need to live up to their promises to protect their workers.