Gender Pay Gap Campaign Last Updated: Feb 25, 2021

Reinstate Gender
Pay Gap
Reporting Now.

WACL’s purpose is to accelerate gender equality. We have launched a campaign calling on the UK government to reinstate Gender Pay Gap reporting now.
WACL campaign update: Mandatory gender pay gap reporting to be reinstated, with EHRC enforcement from October 2021

23rd February: We did it! WACL’s campaign for the reinstatement of gender pay gap reporting was among the powerful voices that have impacted government policy, resulting in a new deadline for gender pay gap reporting this year.

Companies that do not make the original April deadline will have until October 4th to report their gender pay gaps. The reporting requirement was suspended entirely last year due to the pandemic.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has also committed to introducing ethnicity and disability pay gap reporting as soon as possible.

Jackie Stevenson, President of WACL and founding partner & CEO, The Brooklyn Brothers, said: “We’re delighted by the EHRC news that mandatory GPG reporting will be reinstated and we look forward to no further delay and the good news that ethnicity & disability pay gap reports will be coming next. Diversity is good for business and must be more front of mind as the economy opens up and we build back better.”

A joint statement written with sister organisations the CMI and the Fawcett Society, coupled with WACL’s petition that has already gained close to 2,500 signatures, all kept up the pressure for change, demanding that businesses be held accountable for both reporting their numbers and disclosing their strategies around closing the gender pay gap.

On 8th March, International Women’s Day, WACL will be holding an event with a panel of experts who will give a clear picture of the benefits of Gender Pay Gap reporting for business, society, and women, as well as the very best advice on how to improve the structure in your business.

In light of the disproportionate impact lockdown and the UK’s pandemic policy response has had on working women, particularly Black, Asian, minority Ethnic and Disabled women, it has never been more important to challenge and support businesses in reporting their GPG and to encourage everyone to have a robust strategy for addressing the Gender Pay Gap.

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The UK government’s decision to put mandatory Gender Pay Gap reporting under review for a second year poses a significant threat to that purpose, and to the progress for all women that so many have fought for over decades.

For this reason, the senior women leaders who make up WACL’s membership are not waiting until International Women’s Day to #ChooseToChallenge: we have launched a campaign calling for the UK government to reinstate Gender Pay Gap reporting now for all UK private & voluntary sector employers with 250 or more employees.

As business leaders ourselves, we understand organisations are under particular pressure during Covid-19. However the fact remains, if the UK government does not hold organisations with 250+ employees accountable for their GPG reporting for another year it will do very little to alleviate that pressure, whilst it most certainly will hurt the prospects of all working women and undo so much of the progress made towards gender equality.

In fact, the evidence tells us that having a strategy in place to improve a company's GPG, galvanised by mandatory GPG reporting, can improve overall company performance, and help deliver against vital talent and diversity & inclusion strategies. We need to increase reporting to include ethnicity & disability, not remove the one set of reports we have.

We know the stats, and we’ll continue to share them publicly through our webinars & toolkits. But now we must act.

That’s why WACL has launched a petition calling on the UK government to reinstate mandatory Gender Pay Gap reporting in 2021 for all UK private & voluntary sector employers with 250 or more employees.

 

Sign The Petition

Alongside the WACL change.org petition, our campaign includes a social media & outdoor advertising campaign, video call backgrounds to download and use here and here, alongside a joint statement signed by WACL President, Jackie Stevenson, which sees WACL join forces with our partners Fawcett Society, Chartered Management Institute and others calling on the UK government to reinstate Gender Pay Gap reporting.

 

Supporting businesses in their measurement and management of GPG

On International Women’s Day, March 8, 2021, WACL and CMI will host a joint workshop and panel for business leaders, moderated by Ann Francke, CMI CEO, with the goal of helping businesses understand the positive impact of reporting their Gender Pay Gap, walk through the steps they need to take to do so, and then write a strategy to address it.

 

Follow @WACL1 on Twitter for more details, which will also be available on our Events page here at wacl.info.

Why is WACL campaigning to reinstate Gender Pay Gap reporting?

Decades of work to close the gender pay gap is at stake if this flagship report is shelved. No measurement means no management, and vitally needed focus will reduce essential workplace initiatives needed to close both pay & role gaps, further entrenching existing gender inequality in our economy.

 

Equality is both good for business and good for society.

 

As our joint statement notes:

"Research by McKinsey demonstrates that tackling gender inequality in the workforce overall is a vital issue for productivity – they estimate a £150bn benefit to UK GDP if the performance of every region on gender equality in the workplace was raised to that of the best.1

The gender pay gap is partly driven by a lack of women at the top and research from across the private sector routinely demonstrates that more diverse teams, including teams with a more even share of women, perform more effectively than teams which are homogenous: from research and design teams in Spain, which are more innovative with women members2 to senior management boards across the UK and North and South America, that are more likely to grow if they are gender diverse.3“

GPG reporting legislation itself can lead to a reduction in GPG

 

“In 2006, Denmark required companies to publish their gender wage gap. A study of the impact of the legislation found that it reduced the gender pay gap by 2%4 The study also found that the legislation did not affect firm profitability, likely because it led to increased productivity.

A recent study of the introduction of mandatory gender pay gap reporting in the UK found that it has narrowed the gap between men and women because of a 3% decrease in men’s hourly pay and resulted in a 5% increase in the probability of women earning above-median wages. The study also found evidence that the reporting resulted in occupations with higher gender pay gaps demonstrating more women-friendly hiring practices5.

The Government Equalities Office (GEO) surveyed 900 employers who did gender pay gap reporting in 2019. The majority believed that mandatory gender pay gap reporting provided a platform for increased focus on wider equality and diversity within their organisation and seven in ten said it has increased awareness of gender pay issues within the workplace6.

 

The need for more transparency, not less, in a post-Covid world

 

“We were disappointed that the Government chose to suspend, rather than delay, gender pay gap reporting and enforcement for this year. Given the high number of women who have been furloughed or worked reduced hours due to caring responsibilities, and the evidence of continuing gender inequality in other areas, this should have been a time for more - not less - transparency.”

~ Women & Equalities Select Committee report, ‘Unequal Impact? Coronavirus and the gendered economic impact’ (February 2021)

That’s why WACL has launched a petition calling on the UK government to reinstate mandatory Gender Pay Gap reporting in 2021 for all UK private & voluntary sector employers with 250 or more employees.

 

Sign The Petition

Allied to this: the need for mandatory Ethnicity and Disability Pay Gap reporting

 

Decades of work to close the gender pay gap is at stake if this flagship report is shelved. No measurement means no management, and vitally needed focus will reduce essential workplace initiatives needed to close both pay & role gaps, further entrenching existing gender inequality in our economy.

Multiple sources7 show the disproportionately negative impact of the pandemic on women, particularly amongst Black, Asian, minority ethnic and Disabled women8.

WACL shares the Equality & Human Rights Commission’s view that “pay gaps reflect broader inequalities in society and tackling them is an important way to achieve a fairer society.” It is therefore vital employers are held accountable for reporting their Ethnicity and Disability Pay Paps, alongside their Gender Pay Gap.

How flexible working and becoming a #FlexibleFirst organisation can help

Flexible working is win:win for employers and employees alike, regardless of gender, and has a proven, direct impact9 on reducing the Gender Pay Gap.

In light of this, we fully support the recommendation made by the Women & Equalities Select Committee to the UK government to amend the Flexible Working Regulations 2014, to remove the 26-weeks’ service threshold for employees to request flexible working arrangements. The pandemic has clearly demonstrated how outdated, unhelpful and unnecessary it is to ask anyone to wait 26 weeks in a new role before they can request flexible working.

The impact of these three, powerful and symbiotic levers of gender equality - Gender Pay Gap reporting, diverse & inclusive workforces and flexible working at scale  - is perhaps best summed up by Baroness Kishwer Falkner, Chair of Equality & Human Rights Commission:

“If we further develop the new ways of working that everyone has adjusted to during the pandemic, including building more flexible working options for employees, there is a real opportunity to increase the diversity of our workforce. This will not only help businesses by harnessing a range of talents, but also help reduce some of the inequality that exists in our society.”