Monday 23 April 2018

Firms warned over attempts to hide gender pay gaps

All companies and public bodies with more than 250 employees must report their pay data by April 4.

Women's minister Victoria Atkins has issued a warning to businesses (Rick Findler/PA)
Women's minister Victoria Atkins has issued a warning to businesses (Rick Findler/PA)

By Ravender Sembhy, Press Association City Editor

Businesses attempting to hide embarrassing gender pay gaps have been warned by the women’s minister that they will face the full force of the law.

All companies and public bodies with more than 250 employees must report their pay data by April  4, but several firms have reportedly been attempting to cover up their true figures.

This could be done by setting up subsidiary companies to skew figures, as well as withholding details of directors’ pay if they are classed as owners.

Victoria Atkins, Minister for Women, said: “Any of these ingenious schemes that these advisers are supposedly cooking up simply won’t work.

“I’d appeal to those companies who are thinking along those lines, I think they are out of step with the public will on this.

“The EHRC, which is the body that will enforce the law, has a strong strategy for going after those companies that break the law. The law is the law.”

She was speaking in front of the Treasury Select Committee alongside City minister John Glen, who described recent gender pay gap figures released by heavyweight Square Mile firms as “very disappointing”.

Morgan Stanley, Citi, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, JP Morgan, HSBC, UBS and a host of other financial institutions have all recently reported significant gender pay gaps.

Approximately 214 financial firms have so far reported out of a total of 3,933.

Mr Glen said that the The Women in Finance Charter, which commits firms to supporting the progression of women into senior roles, has helped put issues such as gender pay on the agenda.

Ms Atkins added: “Diversity is important from a business perspective.

“McKinsey conducted some research recently that showed organisations that have gender diversity in their leadership are 15% more likely to outperform their rivals.”

Press Association

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