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17% of large firms don’t report their gender pay gap, CIPD reveals

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Nearly a fifth (17%) of organisations that employ more than 250 people have not reported their gender pay gap, CIPD research has revealed.

Larger firms that employ between 250 and 499 people are also the most likely to admit to not carrying out gender pay gap reporting in the 12 months to October 2023, despite it being a legal requirement for all businesses with 250 or more employees in England, Scotland and Wales.

The findings are part of CIPD’s latest pay, performance and transparency report, which was published on Tuesday (27 February), supported by the technology company ADP.

Read more: Closing the gender pay gap will empower women and deliver economic growth

Charles Cotton, the CIPD’s senior reward adviser, told HR magazine: “It is shocking that so many large firms are not complying with the law. Though, in a few instances, companies might not be aware that there is a legal duty.

“The problem with not publishing gender pay gap data, is that employees, job applicants, customers and investors might be put off wanting from wanting to work for, to buy from or to invest in these firms.

“There are also the legal implications that organisations could face for not complying with the requirement to publish pay by gender.

“Also, if employers are not reporting, then the government, society and the economy will find it harder to assess how attempts to reduce the size of the gender pay gap is progressing. More firms might start to think that they can get away with not bothering about this issue.”

Read more: We must all help eradicate the class pay gap

Speaking to HR magazine, Hayley Tatum, Asda’s chief people and corporate affairs officer, encouraged employers to build on the important work of supporting women colleagues in progressing to higher paying roles.

Referring specifically to Asda’s plan for addressing pay inequalities, she added: “Looking ahead, 2024 will see us relaunch our Asda Allies Inclusion Networks. One of the five network groups is Women in Leadership, in recognition of the need to continue to support the development and progression of even more women in our business.”

As well as exposing the scale of large firms’ failure to report gender pay gaps, the CIPD’s report also highlighted that, in the 12 months to October 2023, 40% of large employers had carried out an analysis of their ethnicity pay data, 35% had not, and a quarter did not know whether or not their ethnicity pay data had been recorded.

More than a quarter (27%) of large employers had conducted a disability pay report, 46% had not, and 28% did not know.

Asda, which employs around 145,000 people, reported a 0% median pay gap for hourly paid retail store colleagues, who make up 84% of Asda’s total workforce. The supermarket’s mean pay difference between all male and female colleagues is 6.6%, down from 7.6% in 2022. This compares to a national average of 14.3% (median) and 13.2.% (mean) as measured by the Office for National Statistics.