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Gender pay gap reporting adherence serves to show size of pay discrepancy

14 August 2018

For the first time in history, all UK employers identified as falling under the government’s gender pay gap reporting requirements have published their data. 

Under new regulations that came into force in April 2017, firms with more than 250 staff must state the average pay difference between men and women.

However, the findings showed that of the 10,000 UK employers required to take part, more than three out of four pay their male staff more than their female staff. More than half were found to give higher bonuses to men than their female counterparts, while over 80% have more women in their lowest paid positions than in their highest paid positions.

Minister for Women and Equalities, Penny Mordaunt, branded the disparity between men and women appalling.

She said: ‘While I am encouraged that over 10,000 employers have published their data, these figures set out in real terms for the first time some of the challenges and the scale of this issue.

We need to take action to ensure businesses know how they can make use of their best talent and make their gender pay gaps a thing of the past.”

For pension provider Aegon, addressing the gender pay gap will also help tackle the gender pension gap.

Kate Smith, head of pensions, Aegon, said: “Gender pay equality continues to be a big talking point, but we can’t ignore the growing pension inequality which also exists today. Pension contributions are often calculated as a percentage of earnings, such as auto-enrolment contributions. So if women’s salary is lower, pension contributions will also be lower leading ultimately to lower retirement incomes. Tackling the gender pay gap will kill two birds with one stone and fix the gender pension gap.”

According to Aegon, the gender pension gap widens with age, often impacted by women’s disrupted working patterns and not helped by auto-enrolment which it said disproportionately excludes more women than men from workplace pensions due to low earnings.

Smith continued: “Most employees have access to a workplace pension and an employer contribution, provided they meet the age and salary criteria. We know that more women than men don’t meet the eligibility criteria with almost a third effectively being excluded from workplace pensions as they earn less than £10,000 a year.

“Auto-enrolment doesn’t allow for people with multiple jobs to combine their earnings and with women being more likely than men to have multiple jobs, this creates a problem for the future. This discrepancy will continue to fuel pension inequality, unless changed.”


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