The Opsium guide to writing a gender pay gap report



The Opsium guide to writing a gender pay gap report


With gender pay gap reporting now officially in place, companies will have to publish their reports on gender pay disparity within their organisation no later than 4 April 2018.

For many businesses, the process of preparing a gender pay gap report will be alien. That’s why we’ve put together some clear steps on how to produce a report that covers all the relevant touch points.

Start with a clear and concise introduction

Begin by explaining your requirements for producing a gender pay gap report. Explain that legislation requires you to produce an annual report of any gender pay gap, specifying the period covered.

For example, the private and voluntary sectors with 250 or more employees in England, Scotland and Wales will need to produce a “snapshot” date report of 5 April 2017, and annually on that date.

The public sector “snapshot” date is the 31st March.


There are six key metrics required by the legislation which must be reported on. These are:

  • the difference in the mean pay of full-pay men and women, expressed as a percentage;
  • the difference in the median pay of full-pay men and women, expressed as a percentage;
  • the difference in mean bonus pay of men and women, expressed as a percentage;
  • the difference in median bonus pay of men and women, expressed as a percentage;
  • the proportion of men and women who received bonus pay; and
  • the proportion of full-pay men and women in each of four quartile pay bands.

You must also confirm that the figures have been reached using the mechanisms set out in the gender pay gap legislation.

Provide relevant narrative

Before we start, there is no legal obligation for you to publish a narrative explanation of a gender pay gap within your company. However, adding some context to the data could prevent any PR nightmares.

It may be that your gender pay gap is wide due to your organisation’s struggle to recruit women, or as a result of some women taking breaks in their career which may have stunted their progression.

These are perfectly reasonable explanations, which help to provide context to figures, without which they could look deceivingly one sided.

Compare, and contrast

It may be that you operate in a sector which is known for struggling to recruit women, such as science and technology. In that case why not compare your business against other organisations in your sector?

Don’t feel like making an example of other companies? You could always compare your results against the national average (using the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings figures), which is currently around 18 per cent.

The benefit of comparing your figures against those of others can greatly affect your narrative. For example, if your gap is only 11 per cent, you are operating 7 per cent over the national average. If your gap is wider than the national average you have the ability to use it is a barometer for growth going forward.

Constantly improving

If the figures aren’t what you expected, say so. Make it clear that you are disappointed by what you’ve learnt and that going forward you are going to address the gap.

The implementation of the legislation isn’t a witch hunt, it’s an opportunity for employers to recognise where they are falling short in their responsibilities to gender pay equality and make a difference.

Committing to a review policy for bonus payments is one example of your organisation beginning to take positive action. Another is to look at gender diversity in your business and implementing initiatives to improve it.

Senior sign off

For private and voluntary sector organisations, the report must conclude with a written statement confirming the information contained within is accurate and it must be signed by a senior figure within the organisation such as a director, or the CEO if you want to add extra weight.

This may seem like added bureaucracy but it shows that a senior figure within your business has been made aware of any gender pay gaps and is motivated to make positive changes toward closing the gap.

For more information about the gender pay gap, or how to create your own report call us today on 0161 603 2156.

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