Gender Pay Gap reporting in schools – three top tips

Gender Pay Gap legislation requires employers with 250 or more employees to publish statutory calculations every year showing how large the pay gap is between their male and female employees. However, employers with less than 250 employees should give serious consideration to the benefits of publishing the information.

There can be a lot to get your head around when it comes to understanding how Gender Pay Gap legislation applies to the education sector. Here are three tops tips to help you carry out reporting with confidence:

1) Consider contractors when calculating the number of ‘employees’

The term employee is constructed in its broadest sense in Gender Pay Gap legislation. It encompasses employees employed under an ordinary contract of employment, as well as any individuals engaged under a contract to personally do work.

Whether or not contractors are caught in the requirements depends on whether they are personally contracted to do the work, with genuinely self-employed people not caught.

Categories of employees that could be included in the reporting but might not have an ordinary contract of employment could include visiting music teachers, exam invigilators, minibus drivers, sports coaches and counsellors.

2) Be mindful of gender identity considerations

You have a responsibility to be sensitive to how an employee chooses to self-identify in terms of their gender. The regulations do not define the terms ‘male’ and ‘female’ and the requirement to report gender pay should not result in employees being singled out and questioned about their gender.

You should start by using the gender identification the employee has provided for HR and payroll purposes, provided that these records are regularly updated.

Where you consider this information not to be accurate, you are advised to establish a method which enables all employees to confirm or update their gender.

This can be handled proactively when informing employees that gender pay reporting is taking place and can be done by inviting employees to check their recorded gender and update it if required.

3) Add a supporting narrative

Unless you are a private and voluntary sector employer, there is no requirement for Gender Pay Gap information to be published with an accompanying statement.

Regardless, it is strongly advised that you provide a supporting narrative. This gives the reader the chance to understand your view of your Gender Pay Gap at present and gives you the opportunity to outline what you intend to do to close it.

A Gender Pay Gap does not necessarily mean you have acted discriminatorily or inappropriately, which is why a supporting narrative can be invaluable to help the reader contextualise the data.

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