The Gender Pay Gap Reporting Measures: 2019 Update



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Gender pay gap reporting produces another round of misleading statistics

Now into the second year of mandated gender pay gap reporting for large organisations, it has become increasingly clear that the influx of data – ranging from negative gaps, to gaps exceeding 50% – fails to provide any meaningful insight into equal or fair pay for men and women in the workplace.

The requirement to measure pay gaps across entire organisations (rather than between comparable roles within organisations), as well as the omission of necessary data, renders the majority of the findings meaningless.

Examples in this briefing, including data from KPMG, EasyJet, Npower, Thomas Cook and the National Health Service, illustrate how the crude figures that have been released create a misleading picture, especially for companies that have hired large numbers of female staff into roles in lower pay quartiles.

The incentives created by the pay gap reporting measures are not simply to hire more women into senior roles, but to hire fewer women into junior or lower paid roles – regardless of their qualifications – to achieve the closest calculation a company can get to a 0% pay gap.

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Kate is Associate Director of the IEA. Kate oversees the IEA’s Media Centre and digital platforms, creating and commissioning content for the website, social media, and ieaTV. Kate regularly features across the national media, including appearances on BBC News, Sky News, Channel 4, Channel 5, ITV and BBC’s Question Time.