Introducing our ‘secret life’ blog series which delves in to the world of senior managers. This blog looks at a manager’s findings when preparing for the enforcement of new gender pay gap reporting regulations.
I work for a company which employs around 450 people in total; I have worked here for just over 8 years. The team has grown dramatically over the years – I was lucky enough to gain promotion a year ago, and to begin managing a team of 30 people. In this role, I’m involved in all the interviewing and job offering processes and have recently hired 4 new members of staff.
The company has always been keen to show they value their employees and often provides evidence of this to encourage a lower turnover of staff.
The latest issue I have had has been surrounding the new gender pay gap reporting regulations. The regulations require businesses with more than 250 employees to calculate and publish the pay gap between male and female employees. The regulations are due to come into force in December 2016 and will apply to private and voluntary sector employers in England, Wales and Scotland.
In preparation for the regulations coming into place, I was told by my manager I needed to review the pay and benefits of all those in my team, to see whether all roles are equally accessible to men and women.
In my report I discussed the fact that:
- We have specific overtime payment arrangements
Overtime arrangements are often popular with male members of my team. I found that only 3 of my 12 female employees regularly stay to do overtime. I was told I needed to investigate the reason behind this, and to calculate the basic, and take home pay of all my staff. I was also to report any gap discrepancies discovered between our male and female employees.
- We have a yearly bonus based specifically on statistics and targets of each individual,
As bonuses are centrally calculated, I don’t award them to my team personally. However, I was required to review the bonuses paid to my team and to report on any discrepancies in order to remain compliant with the new regulations.
I am still stunned that I had this issue in my team – it’s amazing what you find out when you actually ask the question.
What did I discover?
Upon investigation, I found that, in general, men enjoy slightly higher basic earnings compared to their female counterparts. However, overtime payments arrangements meant that, on average, the take home pay for men is considerably higher than women.
Additionally, I was extremely surprised to find that most of my female work force said they would like to do overtime but couldn’t as the overtime opportunities were released too late in the working day for them to make short notice child care arrangements. Until I investigated, I was unaware as to why female colleagues did not partake in over time, or the effect this had on their earnings either.
I made a suggestion in the management team meeting that overtime requirements should be made available 48 hours in advance – this was implemented 2 weeks ago. In the past two weeks I have noticed an increased number of female employees working overtime and also have had several reports from the male employees in my team that they feel less pressured to complete overtime to hit targets.
In anticipation of the gender pay gap publishing requirements in April 2018, I am now monitoring the situation stringently. This is because the regulations require that information be regularly published on the company website – the evidence also has to be formally submitted to the Government.
I am still stunned that I had this issue in my team – it’s amazing what you find out when you actually ask the question. I would have thought my team would have come to me with any issues but I have learnt it is so important for me to be forthcoming with my team and to investigate circumstances myself. I’m happy we have been able to start making changes to improve the situation for my staff.
I am also hoping to be able to ask for the bonus scheme to be altered in our next management meeting because it seems that at the moment those who do overtime are able to hit bonus more easily.
To find out more about the issues raised in this post, or to discuss any queries regarding gender pay reporting, HR or employment law get in touch with our Employment team on firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0) 161 829 2599.
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The information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by berg or any of its partners or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.