Private sector

Private sector organisations are increasingly aware of the benefits to their business of a diverse workforce. Businesses whose workforces mirror their customer base are able to respond more quickly with products and services their customers want and need.

Mandatory pay gap reporting

From 2017, any private or third sector employer that has 250 or more employees must publish specific figures about their gender pay gap. The new regulations require these employers, by April 2018, to have published:

  • Their mean and median gender pay gap figures;
  • Their bonus pay gap, and the proportion of men and women receiving bonuses;
  • The proportion of men and women in each pay quartile; and
  • A written statement on their website.

The UK Government recommends that employers include a report which contextualises this information, explains the causes behind the employer’s pay gap, and sets out what steps the organisation will take to close it.

Close the Gap has developed an online tool for employers who are required to report their gender pay gap under the new UK Gender Pay Gap Information Regulations 2017.

The free tool, Close Your Pay Gap, is a unique, innovative online resource which enables employers to:

  • Generate their pay gap information;
  • Identify priority areas for their organisation by answering a short series of questions; and
  • Receive a bespoke report and action plan for addressing the pay gap in their organisation.

The easy to use online tool provides detailed, tailored guidance around an organisation’s employment practice in five key areas which align with the causes of the gender pay gap:

  • Pay, performance and bonuses;
  • Flexible and part-time working;
  • Recruitment and promotion;
  • Training and development; and
  • Workplace culture.

Employers that take steps to reduce their pay gap are more productive, more innovative and more profitable, and are able to draw from a wider pool of skills and talent. When employers take action on the pay gap everybody benefits, as evidence shows closing the gender gap in employment is worth up to £17bn to Scotland’s economy.

To use the tool visit www.closeyourpaygap.org.uk

Providing fair and equal pay

Ensuring pay transparency requires businesses to take a detailed look at their pay systems and compare the pay earned by men and women. It then requires employers to make sure they can justify any discrepancy in pay.

Increasing the representation of women is not the only win for businesses that undertake reviews of their pay systems. Other benefits include improved retention, increased morale, reduced absenteeism, a positive corporate image, and enhanced productivity and innovation. Pay is one of the key factors affecting motivation and relationships at work.

Ensuring that pay systems are fair also mitigates the risks of claims being taken against your business under the Equality Act. Tribunals in Scotland can award up to five years back pay, plus interest, to men and women who bring successful equal pay claims. The damage caused to the reputation of a business by a tribunal loss is difficult to measure.

More information on the actions that can be taken to narrow the gender pay gap are in the What you can do section.

Close the Gap can provide confidential support and assistance to employers in carrying out pay reviews. We can also work with your organisation to identify steps to address the causes of your gender pay gap, including ways in which you can address any barriers to women’s progression.

To find out what we can do for your business, please contact us.

Managing pregnancy and maternity

It makes good business sense to manage pregnancy and maternity fairly. By supporting employees who are pregnant, on maternity leave, or just returned to work, you’ll retain key people, enhance your business’s reputation, and protect your business from costly tribunal claims.

Our Think Business, Think Equality tool for small and medium businesses has a section on pregnancy and maternity, which includes a test to self-assess your current practice in this area, and accompanying guidance.

Equality and Human Rights Commission has also developed a range of resources for employer to support best practice in managing pregnancy and maternity in the workplace. Find out more here.

Related publications

Close the Gap response to the Independent Review of Employment Practices in the Modern EconomyClose the Gap response to the Independent Review of Employment Practices in the Modern Economy

Gender Budget Analysis ToolGender Budget Analysis Tool This gender budget analysis tool was developed as part of a research project with Women in Scotland's Economy (WiSE) research centre.

Gender Budget Analysis: Case StudyGender Budget Analysis: Case Study This case study was developed as part of a research project with Women in Scotland's Economy (WiSE) research centre.

Gender Equality Pays: The economic case for addressing women's labour market inequalityGender Equality Pays: The economic case for addressing women's labour market inequality This paper presents research into the link between gender equality and economic benefit.

How networks and mentoring can address occupational segregation: What policymakers can learn from WiRESHow networks and mentoring can address occupational segregation: What policymakers can learn from WiRES This report summarises the evidence gathered from a Close the Gap project which developed the WiRES network.

Missing out on the benefits?Missing out on the benefits? Close the Gap commissioned researchers at Glasgow Caledonian University to investigate the extent to which Scottish employers are taking actions to close any gender pay gaps.

Submission to Women and Equalities Committee inquiry into sexual harassmentSubmission to Women and Equalities Committee inquiry into sexual harassment Close the Gap's written submission to the UK Women and Equalities Committee inquiry into sexual harassment in the workplace.

The business benefits to promoting gender equality in the life science sectorThe business benefits to promoting gender equality in the life science sector Close the Gap were delighted to contribute an article to the NEXXUS newsletter - Scotland's life science network.

The Gender Penalty: Exploring the causes and solutions to Scotland's gender pay gapThe Gender Penalty: Exploring the causes and solutions to Scotland's gender pay gap This paper presents research which looks at the causes of Scotland’s gender pay gap, and how the causes have changed.

The relationship between actions to promote gender equality and profit (Emily Thomson, ERI)The relationship between actions to promote gender equality and profit (Emily Thomson, ERI) This research collates and analyses the existing evidence in support of the business case for addressing gender inequality in individual firms.

Valuing Diversity: The business case for gender equality during an economic downturn (Emily Thomson)Valuing Diversity: The business case for gender equality during an economic downturn (Emily Thomson) This brief position paper outlines the main ‘business case’ arguments for action to close gender gaps in employment and reinvigorates them in light of the current economic downturn in Scotland.

WiRES: What businesses can learnWiRES: What businesses can learn A publication for employers which shares the findings from Close the Gap's project on women in renewable energy.

Women's sector response to the Gender Recognition Act consultationWomen's sector response to the Gender Recognition Act consultation Close the Gap worked with Engender, Scottish Women's Aid, Rape Crisis Scotland, Zero Tolerance and Equate Scotland to produce a joint response to the Scottish Government consultation on proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act.

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