EEF to hold gender pay gap seminars

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EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, has announced a raft of gender pay gap reporting seminars taking place across the UK early next year. The move follows the government’s publication earlier this week of the new gender pay reporting regulations and comes ahead of its response to the consultation expected later today.

Describing the regulations as “complex”, EEF says that businesses support the drive for greater transparency, but their ability to comply will hinge upon their understanding. It is urging businesses to take steps now towards getting to grips with the new reporting requirements. At the same time it says that future guidance from ACAS will be key in enabling companies to feel confident about what is required of them.

Tim Thomas, director of employment and skills policy at EEF, said: “The principle of gender pay reporting is sound but, for business, the struggle will be in putting these complex regulations into practice. There is a big communications challenge ahead to ensure that firms understand what is expected of them so that they can ensure they comply.

“The ACAS guidance will be critical and it is hoped that this will be out in good time for the mandatory start date in April next year. But, it is also clear that organisations like our own will play an important part in building understanding and making sure firms feel comfortable and confident about their compliance”.

The gender pay reporting requirements will become mandatory for employers with 250 or more employees from April 2017. The seminars are designed to guide companies affected so that they grasp the legal requirements for reporting on the overall gender pay gap, the gender bonus gap, the proportion of men and women receiving bonus pay and the proportions of men and women in each of the four hourly pay quartiles.

In addition, companies will understand the potential consequences of gender pay reporting for their business. They will also be helped to consider how they might best present their figures, what metrics they might voluntarily publish to set their figures in context and what “narrative” they might provide.

Importantly the seminar will also help firms to identify the causes of their pay gap and the steps they can take to narrow it.