To coincide with the closing date for the Government’s consultation on Closing the Gender Pay Gap, the CIPD has surveyed nearly 300 employers for their views on the proposals.

The survey found that three-quarters (77%) of employers believe that government plans requiring larger employers to publish gender pay information will help them to address equal pay issues in their organisation. It also found that six in ten (59%) employers believe the plans for mandatory gender pay gap reporting in organisations with more than 250 employees will help them to develop female talent.

However, the CIPD cautions in its response to the Closing the Gender Pay Gap consultation, that the publication of gender pay information in itself will not lead to more inclusive and diverse organisations.

CIPD Head of Public Policy Ben Willmott commented: “Proposals to introduce gender pay gap reporting are welcome and will improve transparency. They will definitely encourage employers to assess if they have a problem, but improving workplace diversity isn’t just a numbers game. The key issue is whether or not employers use this information to improve how they support, develop and promote women in their organisation.

“The danger is that some organisations may focus, or use metrics, on pay as a diversion or excuse from making overdue broader cultural change. This is why the CIPD is highlighting in its response to Government the need for employers to also publish a clear narrative to complement any gender pay information, setting out their approach to improving gender diversity and inclusion to provide context and meaning to the data.

“This narrative should include, for example, information on whether leadership and talent management programmes are gender balanced, flexible working practices, and maternity and shared parental leave policies. It is only through encouraging more organisations to adopt more inclusive people management practices that real culture change will happen over time.”

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