UPDATE: The Government has advised as of 23 Feb 2021 that they will give a 6-month grace period before enforcing gender pay gap reporting this year. See more here.
Gender pay gap reporting, for applicable businesses in England, Wales and Scotland, is once again mandatory this year. The Government decided not to enforce the reporting in 2020 due to COVID-19, so some businesses may be a bit rusty when it comes to pulling all the relevant information together for their report this year.
Ideally, HR needs to tackle the report on three fronts: gathering the necessary data, supporting it with an accurate and honest narrative, and outlining what the business intends to do to narrow the gap in future. All these elements are made easier with a documented process and an excellent HR system.
‘Your gender pay gap calculations will be based on payroll data drawn from a specific date each year. This specific date is called the ‘snapshot date’…Your snapshot date and reporting deadline is determined by which regulations your employer comes under.’
Cezanne HR allows HR users to determine all employees on a specific date as an initial step to ascertaining a headcount. For smaller organisations, with a headcount of less than 250, knowing their headcount may be as far as they wish to go as they do not have to complete a gender pay gap report, however the Government advice states:
‘If you have a headcount of less than 250 on your snapshot date, you are not required to comply with the regulations but should give serious consideration to the business benefits of doing so.’
The gender pay gap is a concern for many organisations, regardless of size, so completing the report shows a commitment to gender equality. It is also useful for an organisation to be able to compare year on year as it grows how it’s improving in this area.
Further data points
After calculating headcount, HR will also need to work out who their ‘full-pay relevant employees’ are. Advice on who is included in this group can be found here.
To make compiling this data easier, you might want to explore creating and maintaining tailored data fields in your HR system. An organisation’s workforce can be very nuanced, so working out ahead of time how your staff match up with gender pay gap reporting requirements, and making sure this is clearly reflected in your HR software, is time well spent.
Creating a clear process
If there isn’t already a step-by-step process in place in your organisation for gender pay gap reporting, now is a great time to create one. Given last year’s hiatus from reporting, it’s a good idea to refamiliarise yourself with all the requirements, and to break them down into a process that works for your team and organisation. There are references at the end of this article that you may find helpful.
Using Cezanne HR, you can create a detailed process for completing your gender pay gap reporting. You can notify different people when it’s their turn to fulfil a step, helping you to keep everything on track. Once you’ve created the process, you can keep reusing it year on year, just tweaking it as needed.
Don’t forget to include in the process who is responsible for submitting and then displaying your report:
‘You must publish your gender pay gap report and written statement in a prominent place on your employer’s public-facing website… You must keep the information available online for at least 3 years from the date of publication. If you do not have a website, you should publish your figures on any intranet and/or parent company website and ensure that this information is brought to the attention of employees.’
It’s about more than just data
Gender pay gap reporting has been created to work towards a more even balance between what men and women are paid. To that end, it shouldn’t be seen as a purely numbers-based exercise that can be completed and forgotten – it’s a tool that can make a real difference in the workplace.
Some organisations are required to add a written statement to their pay gap report – this is another element that will need to be considered when creating your reporting process. But it’s the option of adding a narrative and action plan that will likely have the most positive impact on improving your gender pay gap (if you have one).
‘Adding a supporting narrative helps anyone reading your gender pay gap report understand your employer’s view of why a gender pay gap is present and what your employer has already done to analyse and close it. Your supporting narrative can signal your commitment to closing your gender pay gap to your employees and anyone else accessing your report.’
Using your HR system for insights
Don’t forget to also use your HR system for insights into any pay gap findings. With a wealth of knowledge on your workforce, your HR software will be able to provide far more information than the data points the Government requires for the report.
Cezanne HR empowers you to create a wide variety of reports. You can slice and dice your data to take an evidenced-led approach to understanding and solving any areas of concern. Having a more nuanced view of a gender pay gap, and what areas of the business need the most focus, is the first step in creating an action plan.
Collaborating on a narrative and action plan
To create a comprehensive narrative and action plan, you will want to work together with your relevant stakeholders to get their insights and buy in. Once you’ve determined what your pay gap is/if you have one, compiled relevant insights, and thought about the questions that are raised for your organisation, you’ll likely be looking for a digital solution to aid collaboration.
Cezanne HR workspaces are a great way for HR to facilitate online discussions. You can create a workspace that’s only available to the stakeholders you nominate according to their ‘security role’, and then you can start threads in this secure environment asking for feedback to help inform the narrative and action plan. You can share drafts of these pieces in a workspace, too, so stakeholders can feed back in one place.
Using an HR system to help with your gender pay gap report makes it much easier for you to gather the data, insights and feedback you need to meet your compliance obligations, and to ensure the exercise has a real benefit for your workforce and future gender equality.
Resources used for this article and further reading