Is your business ready for the gender pay gap deadline?

Posted on 30 Jan 2018 by The Manufacturer

The April 4 deadline for employers with 250 or more employees to publish their gender pay gap reports is fast approaching.

Sara Meyer examines the most recent data from the ONS and a government report on employer attitudes to gender pay gap reporting – both of which can be seen as timely reminders for affected employers to start compiling their reports if they haven’t already done so.

Gender Pay Gap Reporting - Stock Image
According to Labour Force Survey data for July to September 2017, women make up just 26.1% of the employed manufacturing sector workforce.

Office for National Statistics data published in November 2017 shows that the national average median gender pay gap across all industry sectors stands at 18.4% – that’s a reduction of 4.1% in the past decade.

In the manufacturing sector, progress on reducing the gap has been slightly stronger, with a 4.5% drop since 2008; based on the latest figures, the median gender pay gap in manufacturing is 20.8%.

Although the gender pay gap in our sector remains above the national average, looking at the make-up of the manufacturing workforce it is perhaps surprising that the gap isn’t higher.

According to Labour Force Survey data for July to September 2017, women make up just 26.1% of the employed manufacturing sector workforce.

Reducing the gap – a priority

It is, therefore, worth noting that a recent government survey of attitudes to gender pay reporting, based on the views of 900 large employers, indicated that 61% of organisations view reducing the gender pay gap as a high (24%) or medium (37%) priority.

Respondents acknowledged that recruiting more women could help reduce the gap – even if they start out in junior roles – because as they work their way up to senior levels the gap will gradually fall.

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However, the survey also identified that many employers consider the difficulty of attracting women to work for them as a major barrier, and this was especially true of respondents in manufacturing.

Time for action

Employers who are required to report, but have not yet done so, must get started because the calculations can be more complex and time consuming than anticipated – especially as there are not one but six separate metrics to report.

Getting stuck on the calculations is a particular risk in manufacturing, where pay commonly comprises multiple different allowances, each of which must be analysed to determine whether it should be included.

Indeed, the complexity of the reporting requirements is highlighted by the fact that only 32% of respondents to the government survey thought they could complete their reports without any external support or advice.

Furthermore, any accompanying explanatory narrative (which we strongly recommend you produce, in order to put your figures into context) must be carefully considered and will take time to prepare.

How EEF can help

Our seminar series – ‘Gender Pay Reporting: How to comply’ – will take you step by step through the gender pay reporting requirements.

We will explain what you need to do and how best to do it to ensure that your organisation is not only compliant, but also shown in the best possible light.

To book your place now, visit:

In addition, EEF can support you on a consultancy basis according to your needs, whether that involves full oversight of the reporting process or targeting a specific area of concern.

For further information, please contact us at: [email protected]