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The equality of parenting

In the week after Father’s Day in the UK, insurance provider Aviva commissioned a report into Shared Parental Leave (SPL) polling 1,000 fathers and 1,000 mothers with children aged 16 and under nationwide. Despite the legislation on SPL being in force since 2015 and the recent government campaign “Share the Joy”, intended to raise awareness (which we talked about here), half of working fathers haven’t heard of SPL. This is particularly disappointing as nine out of 10 parents are reported as believing mums and dads should be given equal parental leave.

The results of the report tell us that 86 per cent of fathers would have liked to take more time off at the arrival of their children, but felt restricted by financial factors and employer constraints. The report’s authors at Aviva commit to an equal parental leave policy entitling male and female employees to 26 weeks each on full basic pay on the arrival of a child. However, not all employers have equalised their offering.

In the “2018 Modern Families Index Summary Report”, Working Families (the UK’s work-life balance charity) recommends “day one” parental and paternity leave rights in new employment, as well as properly paid, extended, standalone paternity leave for fathers, in an effort to tackle gendered assumptions about who works and who cares for children. Linking this to improving the gender pay gap, Working Families suggests that improved paternity leave will mean that fathers will be more likely to use it and thereafter be more involved in their children’s care throughout their life, having a knock-on effect on the participation and remuneration of women in the workforce.

Despite these findings the government has, regrettably, recently announced that, whilst it accepts the need for change in this area, calls by the Women and Equalities Committee for new measures on paternity leave and pay, SPL and driving cultural change have been roundly rejected. The Chair of the Committee, Maria Miller MP, said: “It is surprising that the government’s response does not refer to its own recently published research on the gender pay gap which found that if men and women took similar amounts of unpaid family leave the gender pay gap would decrease by 13 per cent … we will continue to press for reform.”

If you need any advice around family-friendly working policies and/or improving your organisation’s gender pay gap, please get in touch with your contact at Dentons.

 

The equality of parenting

“Pitiful” and “patronising” – the excuses given for the lack of female presence in FTSE boardrooms

The Hampton-Alexander Review, an independent review backed by the government to scrutinise the gender balance of boards at the top of the country's leading companies, released a report this week which lists some of the excuses given by companies for a lack of female representation on their boards.
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“Pitiful” and “patronising” – the excuses given for the lack of female presence in FTSE boardrooms

EHRC gender pay gap investigations

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has written to the Government informing it that in June it will be commencing the first of its gender pay gap investigations into employers who have failed to comply with their gender pay gap (GPG) reporting obligations. The announcement should not come as a surprise as the EHRC issued a warning prior to 4 April 2018 deadline that any companies which failed to comply with their reporting obligations could face enforcement action in the form of a fine or an investigation.
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EHRC gender pay gap investigations

The gender pay gap reporting deadline has now passed – so what have we learned?

The deadline passed at midnight last night for private businesses with more than 250 employees to publish their gender pay gap report.

More than 10,000 companies have now published their report. Interestingly over 1,100 companies published their report on the day of the deadline, which is more than the total number of companies that reported in the first 326 days of the scheme. Some have argued that such late publishing was, in certain cases, a tactic to bury unflattering results in the last-minute flood of reporting.

From the data published so far we have learned that 78 per cent of companies pay men more than women, 14 per cent pay women more than men and 8 per cent have reported no gender pay gap at all.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, men are paid more than women in every single industry sector, with construction representing the largest gap, followed by finance and insurance.

It is not yet clear what level of punishment those that have failed to publish their pay gap results may face. Though, as we have previously reported on this blog, companies may be named and shamed on a public list on the government portal, and that those that continue to fail to report might ultimately face a summary conviction, be subject to an unlimited fine and be forced to publish the data under a court order.

The gender pay gap reporting deadline has now passed – so what have we learned?

People, Reward and Mobility – Annual update and diversity review – May 2018

The People, Reward and Mobility team are pleased to invite you to our annual update seminar. Designed to bring you up to date with the latest key developments affecting your workforce, we will review:

  • the top employment cases for 2017 and 2018 and legislative changes, together with their implications for your business;
  • key changes in pensions and other employee reward schemes and their effects on your business;
  • the latest implications from Brexit on immigration matters, including what you can be doing now to be prepared; and
  • diversity and inclusion, with a spotlight on what #MeToo means for your business and gender pay gap reporting, a year into the regime.

The seminar will be preceded by a breakfast buffet and an opportunity to network. We will hold a complimentary legal clinic after the event.

For further information (including dates), please visit our Events page:

Events

People, Reward and Mobility – Annual update and diversity review – May 2018

Failing to report gender pay gap

“Let me be very very clear: failing to report is breaking the law. We have the powers to enforce against companies who are in breach of these regulations. We take this enormously seriously. We have been very clear that we will be coming after 100% of companies that do not comply.”
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Failing to report gender pay gap

Don’t forget to sign up to our May 2018 annual update and diversity seminar

Don’t forget to sign up to our May 2018 annual update and diversity seminar

Sex discrimination law review final report

2018 is a momentous year, in that it marks 100 years since British women were given the right to vote. Things have moved on a bit since 1918, and we can safely say that there have been many positive developments since then aimed at addressing the issue of gender inequality in the workplace.

Yet here we are, in this historic centenary year, reading daily accounts of high-profile cases of sex discrimination and harassment. Take, for example, the BBC “not doing equal pay” and the sexual harassment allegations arising from the notorious Presidents Club dinner. Inequality in the workplace remains a real issue, and against that backdrop one key question needs to be considered: are the UK’s sex discrimination laws still fit for purpose?

This was the question that the Fawcett Society (the UK’s leading charity campaigning for gender equality and women’s rights), together with a panel of legal and policy experts, was recently tasked with answering. Following a nine-month review, the Society has now made a number of recommendations on the following topics.

Read more here

Sex discrimination law review final report

Stretched resources – immigration and gender pay

Two stories have made the headlines today, and both relate to stretched resources. The stories look at preparing the UK immigration system for after Brexit, and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) enforcing employers to publish gender pay gap information.
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Stretched resources – immigration and gender pay

IFS report: Part-time work is playing a major role in the gender pay gap

The latest report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has highlighted the prevalence of part-time working among women, and particularly mothers, as contributing significantly to the gender pay gap, which although down from 30 per cent from the early 90s still stands at around 20 per cent.
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IFS report: Part-time work is playing a major role in the gender pay gap