Posted on by Jessica Peaty

Can you Prove You Pay Equally?

A new consultation is looking at the details of how new gender pay gap regulations will be designed – including what, where and when information will be published.

The initiative forms part of the Prime’s Minister’s goal to “end the gender pay gap in a generation,” with the consultation period ending in September this year. If legislation is passed, it will be compulsory for organisations with more than 250 employees to report on the pay gap between male and female employees.

A number of top businesses, including PricewaterhouseCoopers and AstraZeneca have already voluntarily submitted their report, and new figures reveal that the FTSE 100 target of 25% female board members has been met.
As the spotlight remains on fair pay, the big question is, how can companies prove they support an equal gender salary policy?

The troublesome nature of this question lies in comparing not only wages, but skillset and experience, and employers could be at risk of rushing to submit numbers that paint a misleading picture on the realities of the gender gap.

Creating a system of fair pay

Ensuring that your employees are being fairly recompensed based on gender neutral factors like skill, is something that all companies should automatically strive towards. So how can this be achieved, to eliminate manager or employer bias?

Ultimately, these companies will be submitting information based on gender, pay and skill. In practice, these three key strands should be taken into consideration when setting salaries across all organisations, despite the spotlight currently being on the top businesses in the country.

The difficulty is that many companies don’t have solid HR data to account for an individual’s skill level and experience, and this could very likely effect pay levels.

The right tools are there

This is where a robust skills matrix adds real value. Modern HR software will have matrices built in, so managers and HR teams can work consistently across the board, with confidence.

In essence, such intuitive software works on a simple premise. Each member of the workforce is assessed based on core competencies. These competencies are set by managers, and applied to each job role within that department. This neatly does away with any potential prejudice, with employees purely being rated on capability. Not only that, from there managers can allocate relevant training to improve skill levels on an individual basis, or across the team. Even going one step further, and rolling out programmes as a companywide initiative.

The ultimate effect is that every employee has a “rating” designed to take into account their proficiency, and salaries can be set based on this solid data rather than at a manager’s discretion.

What you can do now

Whether you’re one of the organisations directly affected by this ruling, or a smaller business, the message in the interests of fair pay remains the same. Get a better understanding of your gender pay policy, and how this translates on paper.

The key, is to take a measured approach to uncovering the facts in your workplace. By implementing a consistent, accountable and measureable system to safeguard against pay bias for now, and the future.

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