Voluntary organisations should consider publishing information about the differences in pay between men and women even if they have less than 250 employees, an umbrella body has recommended.
New rules introduced in April 2017 mean that all private and voluntary-sector employers in England, Wales and Scotland with 250 or more employees are required to publish information about the differences in pay between men and women on an annual basis from 2017.
Although it employs only around 100 staff, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), which represents more than 13,000 charities in England, has voluntarily published its own gender pay gap data in a bid to increase transparency and encourage other charities and social enterprises to do the same.
While paying men and women for the same work at different rates has been illegal for decades, the data required by the new rules also captures pay inequalities resulting from differences in the types of jobs performed by men and women.
The charity umbrella body recommends that organisations should consider collating and publishing the data regardless of size, as a way to reflect on any gender pay differences and to demonstrate a commitment to transparency and accountability.
Charities that have a small number of employees will have to decide whether publishing their data is meaningful, and strike a delicate balance between being transparent and protecting individuals’ data.
Susan Cordingley, director of planning and resources at NCVO, said: “The new rules on gender pay gap data are a good opportunity for organisations of all sizes to stop and think about any gender inequality that may be revealed by the data and if they are doing enough to address it.
This is not only the right thing to do and a valuable tool to think harder about how to maximise talent in the workplace, but it is also a way of moving towards increased transparency, which promotes public trust and confidence in charities.
Many voluntary organisations’ gender pay gap data will be characterised by their employing more women than men, and the same is true for NCVO. Our own data highlights that, while we pay men and women on the same grades identical salaries, there are proportionately more women than men in lower grades and in part-time roles.
Organisations can address this through a range of family-friendly and flexible working policies designed to support women who are still more likely to take time off work to care for children and family, which can hinder their career progress.
NCVO encourages remote working and provides enhanced maternity pay, flexible working hours and enhanced shared parental pay, and our staff survey shows that these are highly valued. But we are always looking for more ways to promote equality in the workplace and strongly encourage other organisations to do the same.”