Comms key to helping employers understand mandatory gender pay gap reporting

Comms are a key component of a campaign by the Government Equalities Office (GEO) and Acas to help employers understand new guidance for gender pay gap reporting, ahead of the legislation taking effect.

The GEO will use comms to help employers understand their new responsibilities around gender pay gap reporting ((pic credit BrianAJackson/Thinkstock))
The GEO will use comms to help employers understand their new responsibilities around gender pay gap reporting ((pic credit BrianAJackson/Thinkstock))
From April, companies with more than 250 staff will be obliged to record the gender pay gap between male and female employees for the first time, with the results to be published in annual league tables from April 2018.

The new regulations will apply to approximately 8,000 businesses, voluntary and charitable organisations across England, Scotland and Wales, when they come into force this spring.

Ahead of mandatory reporting, the GEO set out its comms strategy for PRWeek to engage with affected companies and organisations.

These include:

Building a business partner database and working through its comms channels to reach the wider business community.

Working with a GEO ‘trailblazer’ audience which is already actively working on gender pay gap reporting, some of which will be early adopters of the regulations.

Working cross-government with departments including the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, to access their stakeholder and business channels.

The GEO also plans to launch a campaign page on ahead of the regulations going live, which will share best practice on gender pay gap reporting and showcase early adopters of the scheme.

In the UK PR and comms industry, the gender pay gap is estimated to be approximately £10,000 and it is not uncommon for men to earn bonuses which are £65,000 more than those for women in equivalent roles.

A joint PRWeek, PRCA and Women in PR survey in 2015 found that a clear majority of staff and employers in the PR industry favoured gender pay gap reporting, whether or not they employed more than 250 people.

Last Autumn, the PRCA announced it would include gender pay gap reporting in its kitemark accreditation for consultancies for the first time, in a move that could have far-reaching implications for the industry and fair pay for women.

The new guidelines, set out by Acas and the GEO, include how to monitor gender differences in the recruitment balance, as well as how to correctly count the number of employees for the gender pay gap calculations.

Caroline Dinenage, minister for women & equalities, said: "No one should ever be held back just because of their gender. We now have the lowest gender pay gap on record, but we still have to push further. Shining a light on the gaps is absolutely key to achieving equality in the workplace, which is why we are introducing requirements on all large employers to publish their gender pay and bonus data from April."

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