A West Midlands employment lawyer is urging companies concerned about how they might be perceived in new gender pay gap league tables to seek legal advice before new legislation is introduced.
And Simon Bond, of Black Country firm Higgs & Sons, suggests that Government plans forcing businesses to report the difference in what they pay their male and female staff could be the most significant employment law story of 2016.
“Our message to employers at this stage would be to prepare for the forthcoming legislation by taking legal advice and considering what their ‘gender pay gap’ report will look like.
“We would suggest that it would be advisable for them to conduct an initial pay review in advance of the legislation coming into effect in order to gauge what the statistics may look like, and what that says about their company.
“The report may well have significant implications in terms of reputation, employee relations and the opportunities for future procurement.”
Women and Equalities Minister Nicky Morgan announced plans last week to make companies with more than 250 employees reveal the difference between the average pay to male and female employees in a bid to offer transparency of where pay gaps are at their widest. Bonuses will also be taken into consideration alongside salary.
Ms Morgan said that women and men should be treated equally in the workplace and that there should be ‘nowhere for gender inequality to hide’.
It is suggested that UK women still earn around 20% less than their male counterparts.
The regulations are set to affect around 8,000 employers across the UK. Companies will need to start calculating the pay gap from April 2017 – with the first tables due to be published in 2018.
Simon Bond has considerable experience in advising managers and directors at all levels on a broad range of employment and HR issues. He is a member of the Employment Law Committee of the Law Society and is a trustee of Birmingham Citizens Advice Bureau. His work with Birmingham CAB was recognised by Birmingham Law Society in 2012 when he was named Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year.
Higgs & Sons is based in the heart of the Black Country at the Waterfront Business Park in Brierley Hill. The growing team now boasts 100 plus specialist lawyers available to support clients in a comprehensive range of business and private sectors.