The Gender Pay Gap legislation : How will this affect the facilities management industry?

As of April 2017, all companies with over 250 employees must publish their gender pay gap within the next year. This will affect 9000 companies, employing 15million people. But what do we mean by a gender pay gap? And how will this procedure work, in practice? Never fear, in today’s blog, we’re sharing all you need to know about the gender pay gap legislation.


What is the gender pay gap?


EqualityTo put it simply, the gender pay gap is the difference in pay between men and women. It’s common sense that men and women should be paid equally, and this idea was first reinforced by the Equal Pay Act (1970), which prohibited any less favourable treatment in terms of pay and conditions of employment between men and women.  This was developed further with the Equality Act of 2010, which stated that men and women have the right to equal pay for equal work. ‘Equal work’ refers to work that is the same or broadly similar, rated as equivalent, or is equal in volume to the demand it makes upon the job holder (essentially – how hard you have to work).

Whilst it has been illegal, since 1970, to pay female workers less than male workers, the gender pay gap in 2017 still stands at a whopping 18%. The progress on closing this gap is painfully slow, with Deloitte estimating that the gender pay gap will not be eradicated until 2069 – 99 years after the introduction of the Equal Pay Act.

This disparity means that the UK is a lowly 20th place on the World Economic Forum’s Gender Pay Gap Index.


How will this legislation help?

ReportsFrom April 2017, employers with over 250 members of staff are required, by law, to publish information regarding their gender pay gap, gender bonus gap, and how many men and women within the business receive bonuses. They are also required to calculate the gender proportion in each of four pay quartiles (lowest to highest pay). This must be published on the government website (which can be found here), and the employee website.

A failure to comply with these rules before the April 2018 deadline, will lead to the businesses being contacted by the Equalities & Human Rights Commission.


What does this mean for the facilities management industry?

Female managerThe facilities management industry has long been male dominated, a recent study from the Collage and University Professional Association for Human Resources found that, within Facilities Management, men outnumber women in leadership roles by nine to one. Whilst this is beginning to change, progress is slow. It may be that the facilities management industry will be hit with an increased volume of fines as a result of this legislation, but this may also encourage the industry to speed up it’s balance of gender within the workplace, and in particular, females within leadership facilities management roles.