gender pay gap - introduction
The Gender Pay Gap is the difference between the hourly earnings of male and female employees in the UK, and must be published annually. The Equality & Human Rights Commission, responsible for the enforcing of reporting, brought in legislation from 31st March 2017, stating that all employers with 250 employees or more must report both to the government and on their own website.
We were one of the first students’ unions in the UK to report our figures to the government, and while we’re proud that our figures represent that we’re an organisation dedicated to equal opportunities, we know there is more work to do on the representation of women in our workforce.
In this section of the website you’ll be able to find out what our figures are, what that means, and what we’ll do going forward as a union, and as an employer.
It’s really important to use situations like this to learn and progress – several sources suggest that gender pay gaps are especially rife for university graduates, so it’s important to us to tackle these issues head on.
pay gaps, not equal pay
What’s really important with the Gender Pay Gap reporting is that this is not an issue of Equal Pay, and while the two are conflated in the media, they stand for very different issues.
Equal Pay is protected in law, and has been provided for since 1970 when the Equal Pay Act came into force. This was later superceded by the Equality Act 2010, which took in a lot of previous equality legislation. Equal Pay claims can be brought where employee A, who is one gender, is paid paid less than employee B, who is a different gender, for doing like-for-like work of equal value. It is worth noting that UK legislation only recognises male/men and female/women, and doesn’t yet support the notion of gender outside the binary.
As an example, if we paid a male member of Venues Staff £9.45 an hour and a female member of Venues Staff £8.45 an hour, a claim of Equal Pay could be brought against us as an employer by the female member of staff.
The Gender Pay Gap looks instead at the difference in average pay between men and women. This is done by analysing the mean and median differences, as well as splitting everyone’s pay into quartiles and looking at the differences across this. This should indicate where women are earning more than, or less than, their male counterparts across an organisation.
what does the future hold?
We’ll be publishing this data annually, so hopefully we’ll be able to track our pay gap reducing and closing in the coming years thanks to proactive steps we can take after reflection each year. Our Equality, Diversity and Access Committee and Appointments & HR Committee will become instrumental in the analysis of our figures and making recommendations for the future.
Many organisations are anticipating that in the near future, legislation will be introduced to produce Race Pay Gap reports alongside Gender Pay Gap reports. At uea(su), we’d welcome this move from the government and will be bearing this reporting in mind as time goes on. The Gender Pay Gap is merely the start of revealing nationwide discriminatory pay inconsistencies and we want to make sure we’re at the forefront of eradicating these issues on campus.
The work of our elected officers will be instrumental to our gender pay gap, shaping the direction of the organisation. We campaign year after year across all liberation groups, introducing our LGBT+ Officer (Trans and Non-Binary) role in the year 2016-17. Going forwards as an organisation, we’ll work with our officers to shape our workforce as well as our campaigns.