The Equality and Human Rights Commission has publicly named and shamed three organisations who have failed to report their gender pay gap information on time for the second year in a row, risking serious reputational damage.
Typhoo Tea Ltd, Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Limited and Northern Automotive Systems Ltd have been notified that there will be upcoming statutory investigations as a result of their failure to publish on time again this year.
The investigations will look at whether failing to publish the gender pay gap information is unlawful. If so, they will be required to publish the figures immediately. Organisations that do not cooperate could be issued with a formal notice which is enforceable in court and with an unlimited fine.
Other organisations, who all filed late reports last year and have so far failed to report this year, have so far been issued with a warning.
The gender pay gap is the difference in the average hourly wage of all men and women across a workforce. It is different to unequal pay which is paying men and women differently for performing the same or similar work.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), men earned 17.9% more than women in 2018, across the UK. The ONS suggests that this is driven by more women working in part-time jobs, which are lower paid on average. Alternatively, if women do more of the less well-paid jobs within an organisation than men, the gender pay gap is usually bigger.
Some of the most significant gender pay gaps are found in the financial or construction industries with some men being paid on average 25% more than women.
Companies can't be punished for having a difference in their gender pay gap. But they might be punished for failing to publish their data, or for publishing inaccurate or misleading figures.
All organisations with 250 or more employees are required to publish their gender pay gap information at the end of each financial year. They must make sure that this information is clearly accessible on their own website and also on the Government’s official portal. The deadline to do so is midnight on 30th March for public sector employers and midnight on 4th April for private and voluntary sector employers.
This law came into force in April 2017 under changes to the Equality Act; with the aim to help close the gender pay gap and hold specific companies accountable for failure to recognise this.
This is enforced by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) who are responsible for making sure that organisations report on their pay gap figures. It has been stated that those companies who fail to report this on time will be given a warning and repeated failures to comply could be issued with a formal notice.
Rebecca Hilsenrath, the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Chief Executive said: “To tackle gender inequality in the workplace we first need transparency... It’s the law and we take very seriously indeed any failure to do so, particularly for 2 years in a row.”
In addition to the three organisations named above, any other employers that have not reported this year’s information could be publicly named and will potentially face formal investigation proceedings.