All things being equal…

Autumn Law on Tour - by Cas Carrington

Our employment law helpline has been red hot for the past few weeks with clients seeking advice on all manner of employment law matters, but one query has been an absolute stand out. “Help! How do we explain our gender pay gap – it’s quite a big number, and how do we persuade our employees that they haven’t got an equal pay claim?”

Once we have talked the caller down from the ceiling, we have been reminding them that having a significant gender pay gap does not necessarily mean that there is anything unlawful about their pay structure, and all they need to do is explain why the gap exists and what they are doing (or going to do) to address it. Of course, in the process of analysing why their pay gap exists they might discover unlawful pay inequalities, but that will, hopefully, be a very rare occurrence and the subject for another day.

As we predicted on the Spring Law on Tour, when the gender pay gap figures are presented to the top team, the top team want answers, and they want answers from HR, fast!

There are myriad reasons why an organisation might have a gender pay gap. For example, women are more likely to sacrifice salary for childcare vouchers; are far more likely to take longer periods of family leave; and whereas around 41 per cent of women in the working population work part-time, only 12 per cent of men do. While part-time workers should not be treated less favourably than their full-time comparators, many part-time workers undertake lower paid work.

But these are just examples of why a gender pay gap may exist, and every organisation will have their own specific reasons and remedies.

If you want to make sure that you have the answers when the top team call, and that you can prepare your narrative to accompany your gender pay gap figures when you publish them on your website and the Government sponsored website, book your place now on the Autumn Law on Tour.

We will be covering this very subject in one of our ‘how to’ sessions along with many other testing issues that HR professionals face on a daily basis, together with a complete employment law update session.

We will be visiting 12 venues on the tour, and our first date kicks off on 3 October at a central London venue. My co-tutor, John Fenton, and I, will look forward to seeing you there!

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