Large businesses yet to publish gender pay gaps

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With just six weeks to go until the gender pay reporting deadline, 93% of the UK's largest companies are yet to publish

All UK businesses with more than 250 employees are legally required to submit their gender pay data by 4 April, but only 7.4% of the UK’s largest 500 companies have done so, according to research by global consultancy Corporate Citizenship.

The figures show that many of the largest sectors that make up the Financial Times’ UK 500 listing lack any submissions at all, with no submissions from companies within 16 different sectors.

Sectors in which none of the largest companies have reported include financial services, general retailers, automobiles and parts, mining, leisure goods, tobacco, chemicals, and forestry and paper.

The news comes as government figures revealed yesterday that 74% of firms pay higher rates to their male staff, while only 15% of businesses with more than 250 employees pay more to women, and 11% showed no difference between men's and women's pay.

The average pay gap across all medium- and large-sized firms stands at 8.2%, as measured by median pay. This means that men typically earn more than 8% more per hour than women.

Companies who have reported their pay gap include Virgin Money, Aviva, Rolls Royce, Coca-Cola, UK Mail, TalkTalk and TSB bank. Those with the largest pay gap include airlines such as TUI Airways and easyJet, and banks including Virgin Money, the Cyldesdale and TSB.

Easyjet has said its pay gap of 45.5% is down to the fact that most of its pilots are male, while most of its modestly-paid cabin crew are female. TUI Airways, where men earn 47% more than women, has the same issue.

Most banks appear to pay more to men, with the Bank of England’s wage rate for men 24% higher than for its female employees.

The minority of firms who paid women more than men include Three Rivers Council, where the hourly rate for women is 42% higher than for men. Europcar, drinks giant Diageo, refuse collector Biffa, and delivery firm Ocado are also among the better-known names.

Charles Cotton, senior performance and reward adviser at the CIPD, urged companies to submit their data, even if the results are negative.

"Some businesses may be concerned about reputational issues, which may be holding them back from reporting early," he told BBC News.

"They may be hoping that by waiting until the deadline and submitting at the same time as others that their results will get lost in the crowd. …It is about fairness but it is also fundamentally about productivity in our economy. I think firms are embracing this."

While there is no legal requirement to provide an explanation of their gender pay gap data, the majority of those reporting have attempted to. The CEO of easyJet, Johan Lundgren, took a paycut of £34,000 to match his predecessor when details of the company’s pay gap were revealed in January.

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