Gender pay gap reporting should be extended to SMEs, say MPs

All organisations with more than 50 employees should be forced to publish details of what they pay their male and female workers, it has been suggested.

In a new report, the Business Committee said smaller firms should join large organisations in publicly publishing their gender pay gap and suggest ways they can close it.

Under current legislation, all organisations with 250 or more employees are required to publish statutory calculations every year showing how the large the pay gap is between genders.

The six calculations include the average gender pay gap as a mean average and median average, average bonus gender pay gap as a mean average and median average, the proportion of males and females receiving a bonus payment and the proportion of males and females when divided into four groups ordered from lowest to highest pay.

These results must be published on the firm’s website and a Government platform.

The current rules mean that around half of the UK’s workforce is included in gender pay gap reports, but MPs believe it should be extended to almost all workers to plug the gap which has been described as “obscene”.

The report states: “The new reporting regime is a step forward, but its full potential has not yet been realised. We are calling for the government to be more ambitious.”

Rachel Reeves, a member of the committee, said: “Transparency on gender pay can only be the first step. The gender pay gap must be closed, not only in the interests of fairness and promoting diversity at the highest levels of our business community, but also to improve the country’s economic performance and end a monstrous injustice.

“A persistent gender pay gap shows that [organisations] are failing to harness fully the talents of half the population. The penalties of working part-time, both financial and in terms of career progression, are a major cause. [Employers] need to take a lead.”

The most recent figures revealed significant gender pay gaps at some of the UK’s largest organisations, including Ryanair (71.8 per cent), JP Morgan (64 per cent), Capita (50.8 per cent) and EasyJet (45.5 per cent).