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Gender pay underway

The revised UK gender pay gap regulations were published this week ( so I’ve taken a short break from analysing shipping salary trends for the market analysis report to summarise the highlights and main changes:

1. Extended definition of employee – now mirroring the Equality Act 2010 to include self-employed workers such as consultants and contractors
This will extend the number of employees counting towards the 250 employee threshold, and is going to make gathering pay data much more difficult since we’re unlikely to get this data from the payroll. There is an exemption where it is not reasonably practical to obtain this data, so now might be a good time to investigate how easy this data will be to collate and evidence which employees should be included or excluded.

2. Change of effective date – from 30 April to 6 April 2017
This won’t affect those with a monthly payroll, since the relevant pay period will remain unchanged. However, for companies who pay weekly or fortnightly this will change their pay period – to include bonuses if paid at 1 April.

3. New process for calculating hourly rates
There are now 6 sets of figures to be calculated – now also including the percentage difference in the median bonus (previously this was just the mean bonus difference) between men and women in the previous 12 months. There is also a lengthy explanation of how to calculate an employee’s hourly rate and weekly working hours when irregular.

4. Clarification on pay quartiles
The confusion around how to implement that pay quartile calculation has been addressed – that is to split the workforce into four equal size groups organised according to hourly pay rates (from the lowest to the highest paid).

5. Include only full pay employees
Employees on reduced pay during the relevant pay period should be excluded so as to prevent distorting the results.

This might feel like a big challenge, but the sooner those affected get to grips with what is required the better. Gathering data from a range of sources is going to complicate things, but is vital to ensure you paint the full gender pay picture for your business. It’s likely that the analysis will need to be broader than what is stipulated in the regulations too – to include internal grading, job families and locations in order to spot the cause of any issues, explain these within your narrative and work to address them. Hopefully HR Directors will be prioritising this for early 2017 – and we’re here to help.

If you would like to get together with fellow maritime HR professionals to talk about this issue specifically, we are holding a gender pay breakfast in London on Tuesday, 21 February 2017. I’ll run through some gender analysis from our salary survey data, and with early calculations showing a gender wage gap of nearly 50% we will have lots to talk about! We can share experiences, discuss next steps and help answer any queries or resolve any issues you may be experiencing. Full details, times, locations etc. will be published in the new year.

Sarah Hutley, Compensation & Benefits Analyst, HR Consulting, Spinnaker Global

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