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Gender pay gap – what UK companies have to do today and what we’ve learned so far

The gender pay gap disclosures have revealed some interesting results for businesses including Apple, Google and Ryanair

 

The deadline is fast approaching for UK companies with at least 250 employees to disclose their gender pay gap.

That means they must publish the differences in salaries – along with other details – between men and women within their organisation by midnight tonight (Wednesday 4 April).

So far, household names such as Apple and Ryanair have been among those to disclose their gender pay gaps, with some interesting results.

Here’s a break-down of everything businesses need to know and what we’ve learned to date.

 

What does the gender pay gap actually mean?

The gender pay gap is an equality measure that shows the difference in average earnings between women and men.

It is not the same as unequal pay, which has been illegal for almost half a century, and therefore does not show differences in pay for comparable jobs.

Instead, it is a representation of what proportion of the highest paid jobs in an organisation are occupied by men and women.

It also highlights complex causes such as the effect of part-time work for women who take time out of the labour market to look after their family, as well as unconscious stereotyping relating to assumptions about women not wanting to accept promotion or not being in a position to do so.

gender pay gap, gender equality,
About 9,000 UK organisations have disclosed their gender pay gap

What exactly do companies need to disclose and how?

For the first time, businesses and public sector organisations with at least 250 employees must publish their gender pay gap.

This includes calculating both mean and median averages in hourly pay and bonuses for each gender.

Companies must also reveal the proportion of males and females both receiving a bonus payment and in each pay quartile.

A mean average is calculated by adding the hourly pay rate for employees then dividing by the number of employees.

Median is the middle hourly pay rate, when you arrange your pay rates in order from lowest to highest.

Organisations can submit their gender pay gap data on the Government database here.

 

What have disclosures so far shown about the gender pay gap?

In the UK, men are paid 18.4 per cent more than women on a median average.

The vast majority of high-profile companies have revealed a gender pay gap in which men are paid more than women, with an often significant difference.

Budget airline Ryanair revealed an industry-worst 72 per cent pay gap on a median average, with women making up only three per cent of the top quarter of earners.

The mean average showed a 67 per cent gap across its 1,182-strong workforce.

In contrast, rival airline easyJet had a 45.5 per cent median average gap (and 52 per cent mean average) that also attracted widespread criticism.

Other mean average gaps favouring men included 33 per cent for PwC, 32.5 per cent for Virgin Money, 30 per cent for Co-operative Bank, 22 per cent for Shell, 22 per cent for Disney and 15 per cent for Ladbrokes Coral Group.

Among the tech giants were fluctuating results.

Facebook disclosed that women were paid a mean salary 0.8 per cent lower than men, while the median rate was 9.9 per cent lower.

But in bonuses, women received 39.8 per cent less in mean average and 41.5 per cent less in median terms.

Google UK pays women on mean average 17 per cent less, while there was a 43 per cent difference in bonuses.

It employs twice as many men as women in the UK and more than three in four of the best-paid roles were held by male staff.

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Apple

 

Apple, which employs more than 6,000 workers in Britain, goes against the grain by paying women in the UK median salaries that are two per cent higher than their male colleagues.

This was largely said to be due to better female representation among retail staff in the iPhone maker’s 38 British stores.

But in the mean average, men were paid five per cent more than women.

Furthermore, in the company’s corporate entity Apple UK, which includes many of its management and technology jobs, men earned median salaries that were 24 per cent higher than women.

Bonuses for men were also 57 per cent higher at Apple UK and 12 per cent higher including retail and sales staff.

Amazon had a six per cent mean average gap in favour of men, although women earn 0.7 percent more on a median average.

The median bonus gender gap was zero per cent but the mean measure was 16 per cent.

To see the full results for organisations that have disclosed their gender pay gap, click here.