The Gender Pay Gap Deadline: The Clock is Ticking For UK PLC’s

Today is International Women’s Day 2022, which means it’s a great time to reflect on how your organisation can work towards being a fairer place for women. One way of working towards this is by completing Gender Pay Gap reporting and analysis.

The deadline for 2021 UK Gender Pay Gap reporting submissions less than a month away. However, many UK companies do not appear to be in good shape. For UK-based PLCs with 250 or more employees, the Equality and Human Rights Commission will begin enforcement action against late reporters on 5 April 2022

The Clock is Ticking

So far, only 24% of PLCs required to submit data under the legislation have done so. The question stakeholders should be asking is: are the remaining organisations leaving it till the eleventh hour to complete this critical work or did they complete it months ago, but because they see it as mere compliance, neither shared nor acted on their findings. Either way it’s not the right approach – it’s crucial that PLCs carry out their Gender Pay Gap analysis as soon as possible if they want to use the insights to adjust their processes and drive greater representation of women across their workforces before the next snapshot date. 

Focus on Your People, Not Just Numbers

Rather than focusing solely on pay and bonus gaps, Gender Pay Gap analysis can be used to reveal the representational shape of an organisation. While there is a lot of discussion around changing percentages and reducing ‘our pay gap’, UK PLCs would benefit from realising that an aggregated percentage is just a symptom. A more detailed set of symptoms are all the gaps in the representation of women throughout the pay range of their organisation and that to find the cures, they need to discover the root causes of these gaps. 

An Ongoing Process

Once organisations have identified where the gaps in representation are and what causes them, they can begin to formulate Action Plans to address them. By detailing their unique challenges and the actions they are going to take to address them, organisations show an awareness of what they are doing correctly, and perhaps what they could improve on. It also highlights their commitment to improving equity and diversity within their organisation.

The majority of organisations want to make progress, but their intentions don’t always match their actions.

Spktral CEO Anthony Horrigan

Over 20% of the 2021 submissions contain compliance/calculation errors. He believes many senior leadership teams are unaware of these mistakes because they have made assertions that the employees, business partners or external service providers tasked with this process have completed it correctly. He states that until this process contains a robust audit – simple compliance errors will continue to occur frequently. This should make stakeholders of these organisations ask a very valid question: If you can’t get the basic compliance checks right – what else did you mis-read or worse yet, mis-calculate? 

Look to The Future

Crucially, organisations cannot create positive change if their starting point is inaccurate data, as this will more than likely create false flags. To avoid this, senior leaders and non-exec directors should ask that the process is checked – not just for the current year, but historically to account for the three years worth of published reports that every organisation is required to have on their websites. If the people carrying out this work are not appropriately qualified or if it is taking up valuable resources then they should outsource to a trusted partner to work with representatives from your organisation – this is about your talent, their progress and the future shape of your organisation. 

PLCs undertaking this legislated work should bear in mind that it’s not the end of a process, it’s the start – and the sooner this process begins, the sooner effective change can be implemented.

To find out more about how we can support you and your organisation throughout your Gender Analysis journey get in touch for a no-obligation consultation.


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