Archive for September 30th, 2011

Acas publishes guidance to help private and voluntary sector organisations identify and address the gender pay gap.

Public sector organisations are required to publish relevant gender equality data. This requirement does not presently extend to the private and voluntary sectors. However, the government is asking organisations to undertake voluntary gender equality analysis and reporting and has launched its ‘Think, Act and Report’ initiative to encourage such participation.

Employment relations body Acas has published guidance which explains how organisations can participate in the initiative and how they can tackle gender equality issues in the workplace if they are unsure how to proceed. The guidance is aimed at private sector and voluntary organisations employing around 150 people or more.

Acas suggests that organisations analyse their businesses by looking at:

  • The make-up of the whole workforce;
  • How men and women are represented at different levels by role;
  • How men and women are represented at different pay levels;
  • How men and women are represented in different occupational groups;
  • Promotion rates by gender;
  • The uptake of flexible working across the company;
  • Employees returning from maternity leave.

It then suggests that organisations analyse the amounts they pay their staff by looking at any gender pay gaps between their full time workers, part time workers and overall. It also suggests that organisations look at any differences between average basic pay and total average earnings of men and women by grade and job type, any differences between men and women starting salaries and reward components at different levels.

According to Acas figures women who work full time in the public sector are paid on average 10% less than men and in the private sector that figure rises to 19.8%. This is despite the fact that employers have been required to pay men and women equal pay for equal work since 1970. If these figures do not improve by voluntary means then compulsory measures are likely to be introduced at some point in the future.

Click here for the full guidance.

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