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Gender pay gap reporting ‘flawed in practice’ says Royal Statistical Society

Gender pay gap reporting ‘flawed in practice’ says Royal Statistical Society

The Royal Statistical Society (RSS) is today releasing a set of 10 recommendations to improve the UK’s system of gender pay gap reporting.

Its proposals have the three key objectives of making the whole process simpler for employers to understand, harder for anyone to ‘game’, and generating clearer results so that employers’ progress can more easily be assessed.
While the Society warmly welcomes the principle of gender pay gap reporting, it believes the current arrangements are, in practice, flawed in some important statistical respects. If implemented, its recommendations would bring about significant improvements in the UK’s system and create a better template for adoption elsewhere.
The RSS’s recommendations include:
• introducing online gender pay calculators with built-in statistical ‘sanity-checks’, to automatically question any employer seeking to make an implausible entry
• gender pay data being presented only in pounds and pence - not percentages as well - to make the system simpler, more intuitive and less confusing
• reforms to make it harder for any unscrupulous employer to ‘game’ the system by, for example, shrinking its gender pay gap through selectively dismissing or outsourcing some of its staff
• safeguarding the smaller employers covered by the gender pay reporting requirements, who can sometimes have sizeable gender pay gaps - but through chance rather as a result of discrimination.
RSS’s Vice-President for External Affairs, Professor Jen Rogers, said: “We warmly welcomed the government’s original decision to introduce gender pay gap reporting. We also recognise the important improvements that it has since made. But we would urge it to go further and faster. I hope it will heed RSS’s 10 recommendations and turn a system that’s great in principle into one that’s equally impressive in practice.”
To read the RSS’s full 10 recommendations, please see our full report on our website.

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