Gender pay gap reporting

The Government has published draft regulations on mandatory gender pay gap reporting for public sector employers, including universities, in England. The draft regulations were published on 20 January this year and will come into force on 31 March.

As an employer with more than 250 employees it will be a legal requirement for the University to report its gender pay gap based on the “snapshot date” of 31 March 2017.  The University will then have twelve months from the snapshot date in which to publish the pay information.

Data will need to be reported on the following metrics for relevant employees:

  • Median and mean gross hourly pay gaps
  • Median and mean bonus pay gaps
  • Percentage of female and percentage of male relevant employees who received bonus pay
  • Percentage of female and percentage of male relevant employees in each pay quartile.

Gender Pay Gap Reporting: Frequently Asked Questions

General

When do the Regulations covering gender pay gap reporting come into force?

The Regulations come into force on 31 March 2017. Employers need to take a snapshot of the data required for gender pay gap reporting purposes for the pay period which includes the “snapshot date” of 31 March 2017.

What do we have to report?

The gender pay gap is a measure of the difference between men’s and women’s average earnings across the University. The figures to be reported are as follows:

  • Median and mean gross hourly pay gap
  • Median and mean bonus pay gaps
  • Percentage of female and percentage of male relevant employees who received bonus pay
  • Percentage of female and percentage of male relevant employees in each pay quartile

How does the data need to be published?

A snapshot of data for the relevant March pay period must be taken annually, and the report published within 12 months of each March snapshot date. The data must be published on the University’s website and be publically available. The data will also need to be published on a Government website.

How frequently is the University required to publish its gender pay gap?

The University is legally required to publish its gender pay gap as specified in the regulations on an annual basis by the 30 March each year and based on the snapshot date of 31 March the previous year. 

What is the difference between gender pay gaps and equal pay?

The gender pay gap is a measure of the difference between mens and womens average earnings across the University. Equal pay ensures we are paying the same level of pay to those who are performing the same work, or work assessed as being of equal value as determined by an analytical job evaluation scheme which looks at the skills and requirements of the job. It is possible therefore to have a gender pay gap without having any equal pay gaps.

Changes to the Casual payroll processes

Why does gender pay gap reporting require changes to the casual payroll processes?

The gender pay gap reporting regulations define a “relevant employee” as all those employed by the University on the snapshot date of 31 March 2017 and casual workers and requires the University to report based on hourly rates.

The casual payroll process therefore needs to capture hours worked and hourly rates, which at present is only captured in some circumstances. Cash payments will now only be possible in a very limited number of circumstances.

Are there any exceptions to capturing hours worked?

Only retainer fees and the reimbursement of travel or other expenses will be allowed as a cash value.

Hours worked do not need to be captured for piecework, but it would be extremely helpful if an average number of pieces/hour could be indicated in the spreadsheet.

Do the processes apply to all departments including TSS and subsidiaries paid via the University Payroll?

Yes, TSS is included in the gender pay gap reporting. Whilst subsidiaries are excluded one policy is required to ensure consistency.

Is this a permanent change or for a specific period?

This is a permanent change. The University is legally obliged to report its gender pay gap on an annual basis and requires this information on an ongoing basis to meet the specifications for calculation as laid out in the regulations.

What would be the consequences to the University of failing to make this change?

It is a legal requirement for the University to report its gender pay gap based on the “snapshot date” of 31 March 2017. The gender pay gap reporting regulations define a “relevant employee” as all those employed by the University on the snapshot date of 31 March 2017 and casual workers and requires the University to report based on hourly rates.

Therefore, if the University fails to capture hours worked by all casual workers it will not be able to meet its legal requirements for gender pay gap reporting. The Government has suggested that failure to comply would be a breach of the Equality Act which could be the subject of investigation and enforcement action by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

We have agreed a fixed price for a job, no hours have been specified, how should we arrive at an hourly rate?

In consultation with the manager you should estimate the hours worked to complete the job. The fee for the job should be divided by the hours worked to arrive at an hourly rate. You should check the hourly rate against the casual pay spine to provide an indication of the grade for the work and ensure consistency across similar types of jobs.

For consultancy fees which are paid via invoice the current processes remain in place, but we may be in contact with departments who have paid consultancy fees in the months of March and April to establish the number of hours worked.

We have agreed to pay a fixed price for a job, no hours have been specified. If the payment is split to hours and hourly rate the gross value does not equal the agreed price. Do we under or over pay them?

You should over pay them. You should arrive at an approximate number of hours for the work and divide the agreed sum by the approximate hours to arrive at an hourly rate.

We pay our casual teachers per lecture delivered including unspecified preparation time. How do we convert this to an hourly rate to enter onto the spreadsheet?

Preparation time is often taken into account when arriving at a fee for teaching/lecturing. If this is the case then do include time for preparation in arriving at the number of hours worked.

You might like to base your estimation of hours worked on half an hour of preparation time for each hour of lecturing. You do not have to use this figure, but whatever figure you arrive at you need to be consistent in its application across comparable types of teaching and lecturing.

Our payments are based on piecework rates e.g. the number of exam scripts marked/supervisees per term. How should we treat these payments?

For piecework related to examining please select either “Exam fee-piece” or “Invigilate-piece” as appropriate.

In order for the necessary calculations to be carried out for gender pay gap reporting you will need to provide the piecework rate and the number of pieces to be paid. Wherever possible please indicate the average number of pieces/hour in the “Comment” column on the spreadsheet.

We pay a fixed value retainer for some roles, how should this be captured?

Please capture retainer fees as a fixed cash sum. The spreadsheet has pay codes “Retainer” which should be selected. This will allow a fixed cash sum to be entered.

If we feel we cannot calculate an hours and hourly rate can we pay the individual through any other method outside payroll?

No, if the payment is deemed taxable it must be processed through the payroll.

Are we allowed to use hours that are not equal to complete hours or 30 minutes e.g. 5.80 hours to achieve a value closer to the agreed fixed value?

Yes, the calculations for gender pay gap reporting do not require complete hours.

If a fixed amount has been agreed and the hourly rate is calculated higher than the top national spinal point will the payment be stopped or queried?

The payment may be queried if the type of work should be remunerated at an appropriate rate against the casual pay spine. In addition to gender pay gap reporting, the University has a legal obligation to ensure equal pay for work of equal value.

What happens if the hourly rate falls below the Living Wage as specified on the pay spine?

This should not occur. The University is an accredited Living Wage employer and paying below the Living Wage would mean we hadn’t met our obligations under our accreditation and would put the University at risk of losing its accreditation.

Please contact the reward team if the hourly rate appears to fall below the Living Wage.

Will we be given a longer deadline for spreadsheet submission to achieve these calculations?

The casual payroll deadline will be reviewed once all departments have adopted the new casual payment process and the payroll office has had chance to establish the amount of time they require for their new part of the process.

What period does the new spreadsheet allow you to use, is it more than the current 20 weeks in the dropdown list?

The latest version of the spreadsheet has been updated to include the last 52 weeks (ie the Sunday at the end of each week) including for visa restricted workers.

Will we still be able to free type the date if the worker is not a Tier 4?

You must select a date from the drop down list. However the spreadsheet has been updated to include the last 52 weeks (ie the Sunday at the end of each week) including for visa restricted workers.

When entering hours do we use percentage minutes or minutes as the fraction? E.g. 5.80 hours or 5 hours 48 mins?

You should always use the percentage.

If the payments covers a period before March 2017 do we still have to split it down by hours/hourly rate?

Yes, we have to report on what is paid in March 2017 even if the payment is for work completed in previous months.

Are we required to go back and record hours worked for payments already made?

No, we only need to capture hours worked for payments made with effect from March onwards.

How do I record annual leave on the casual payment spreadsheet?

Leave taken must be recorded in hours during the week in which the leave was taken. Select the appropriate holiday pay code on the spreadsheet.

Payment in lieu of leave (i.e. when the worker is leaving with holiday owing) can be paid as a cash lump sum. Select the appropriate holiday cash pay code on the spreadsheet and choose the same week ending date that you have used for the final week worked.

Do I need to record 0 hours on the spreadsheet for weeks when the casual didn’t work?

No, we only require details of weeks worked.

The cash value pay code I want to use isn’t listed in the drop down list on the spreadsheet.

If the appropriate Paycode is not available as a cash value you must convert your payment into an hourly rate and use the relevant hourly Paycode.

What will a casual worker see on their payslip?

The payslip will show the hours worked and the total payment for each Paycode entered on the spreadsheet – see example below.

 

Where multiple lines of the same pay code are entered they are added together and shown once on the payslip regardless of different hourly rates.