From April 6 2017, companies who employ over 250 staff are now legally required to publish four sets of figures annually; whether that be on their own or the Government’s website. These figures are aimed at reporting disparities between men and women’s pay.
The required disclosures are as follows:
- Gender pay gap with mean and median averages;
- Gender bonus gap with mean and median averages;
- The proportion of men and women in each quartile of the firm’s pay structure and;
- Proportion of men and women receiving bonuses
This new reporting requirement will be particularly interesting for both law firms and accountants. The guidance published by the Government Equalities Office states that partners can be used to determine employee headcount, but should not be used as part of the calculations, even where they would usually be considered employees. However, this only applies to equity partners and not salaried partners, who must be included in all of the calculations.
Those law firms and accountants operating from a traditional partnership or limited liability partnership model are not required to include partners since they share in profits instead of receiving employment remuneration.
Solicitors and accountants have welcomed the legislation. But some are predicting a dramatic increase in equal pay and discrimination claims.
Simon Bladen, Legal Specialist at Hawsons, had this to say: “I hope that overall this legislation serves its purpose and does increase reporting transparency across the board. Hopefully, as others have already suggested, it won’t be used as a basis for large group actions and is instead a genuine step forward in promoting equality in the workplace.”