The analysis, conducted by pay gap specialists Spktral, found that 1,200 UK-based public limited companies with 250 or more employees have submitted non-compliant gender pay gap reports.
The research revealed vast numbers of non-compliant companies that have failed to follow the rules laid out in the legislation. The two rules which are most commonly disregarded or misinterpreted are the confirmation statement, which must be given and signed by a company Director (or senior partner in a law firm) and the failure to maintain published reports on the organisation’s website for a minimum of three years. Sectors with the highest non-compliance rates are currently Accommodation and Food Services, Manufacturing and Human Health and Social Work.
Speaking about the findings, Anthony Horrigan, CEO at Spktral, said, “Given the board-level importance of increasing diverse talent within all organisations, it is disappointing how many reports are signed by very junior employees, or in some cases, by an external company.”
“This year’s submissions show that 16 per cent of companies have failed to have their reports signed by the correct person.”
“The question all stakeholders should be asking is: why is this straightforward rule so difficult for companies to get right?”
The gender pay gap reporting deadline – the date in which all organisations with more than 250 employees must disclose their pay gap date – was 04 April 2022.
Analysis of data recorded on the government website indicates that the median gender pay gap of all firms that reported in the past financial year is 9.8 per cent – a slight decrease on the average of all firms reporting in 2020-21 which stood at 10.4 per cent.
The result also show that more companies have met the deadline – with 9,818 companies reported in time for the deadline. Whilst this is up from 9,628 firms that reported in time in 2021, there are still firms yet to comply.
Of the companies that have reported by the deadline, analysis found that 78 per cent reported a pay gap that favoured men; while 13.5 per cent have a pay gap favouring women. Just 8.5 per cent of companies reported no pay gap.
Commenting on the statistics, Agata Nowakowska, AVP EMEA at Skillsoft, said, “Resolving gender disparity is complex, and has become even more so by the events of the past two years, which have disproportionately affected women across all facets of their professional lives.”
“Until now, the impact of the pandemic on women’s progress has been hard to quantify, however these latest gender pay gap figures highlight that progress towards gender equity remains stagnant.”
“Clearly, we need to address the gender pay gap head on if we are to ensure that women don’t lose the important ground they’ve gained in corporate hierarchies.”
“Accountability should lie with everyone, and the gender pay gap reporting deadline is a valuable benchmarking tool that not only ensures companies can recognise and improve upon their pay gap, but from which employees can monitor and advocate for change.”
To close the gap, employers should ensure that female employees have the opportunity to expand their role towards higher-paying positions.”
“This could mean reviewing how your organisation facilitates professional development, addressing unconscious bias or reviewing flexible working policies.”
“Pay equity is achievable, but only if organisations are aware of their current position and take action to close the gap.”
“After all, as this year’s results reflect, we must put our foot on the pedals of change to drive progress quicker.”