The government should force smaller companies to reveal their gender pay gaps and partners’ pay should also be included, a group of MPs has said
The business select committee made the recommendation in its analysis of gender pay gap reporting, calling for the threshold for companies to be lowered from 250 employees to 50.
MPs argued only half of the UK workforce was covered under the existing requirements, introduced this year, and that there was evidence to suggest a wider pay gap between men and women in smaller firms.
Committee chair Rachel Reeves said some of the biggest gaps were ’obscene’.
There could be big implications for the architectural sector if the government takes forward the recommendations, with about 100 more firms likely to have to supply their data than under the current requirements. This year only 11 architectural practices were obliged to reveal their gender pay gap figures.
Of all the firms in the AJ100 – in which practices are ranked by how many architects they employ – only 14 would fall below the proposed threshold of 50 staff.
This year in architecture, the average difference between median hourly earnings of male and female staff was 16.3 per cent – only slightly better than the national average of 18.
Under the existing government rules, practices set up as limited liability partnerships (LLPs) were not required to include partner pay, as they are not technically employees.
Four firms, all with comparatively low pay gaps – Hawkins\Brown (2.6 per cent) Sheppard Robson (10.9 per cent), Allies and Morrison (10.5 per cent) and tp bennett (12.8 per cent) – confirmed this was the case with their figures.
But the committee said the government was wrong to exclude partners and this data should be included in next year’s reporting.
’The exclusion of the highest-paid people in organisations makes a nonsense of efforts to understand the scale of, and reasons behind, the gender pay gap. The government was wrong to omit the remuneration of partners from the figures required in the regulations.’
The report found that across the UK, four in five (78 per cent) of organisations reported gender pay gaps in favour of men.
Pay gap scatter graph