Pension funds' plea

Companies urged to ‘take gender pay gap more seriously’

Equal payCompanies should improve their reporting of pay differences between men and women and take the issue more seriously, says a pensions organisation.

In a submission to the UK government’s inquiry on the gender pay gap, the National Association of Pension Funds says there is “very limited reporting” by companies on how they manage their workforce.

This creates a lack of transparency for long-term investors, such as pension funds, it says.

“A clearer line of sight is needed into how a company’s workforce is composed, nurtured and motivated and subsequently how stable and productive it is in order to inform judgements on the sustainability of the operation.

“Better corporate reporting on the gender pay gap will provide an insight into whether companies are making full use of the talent available to them.

“A significant gender pay gap may for example be a driver of high turnover or poor morale and thus be of concern to long-term investors. Closing the gender pay gap would undoubtedly be of benefit to investors and to society as a whole.

Joanne Segars, chief executive at NAPF, said: “We applaud the companies that have already chosen to be more transparent when reporting about the gender pay gap in their firm. Disappointingly, these companies are in the minority and many firms still fail to provide any meaningful data on this issue – and so fail to assure investors and customers alike that this topic is being taken seriously.

“Our considered view is that while we encourage the government to introduce new requirements for companies to report on the gender pay gap, this should form part of a drive to improve the quality of corporate reporting on the wider issue of the workforce, or human capital.

“This will prevent the gender pay gap being seen out of context and bring much greater scrutiny to an area which is fundamental to the long-term success of UK companies.”

>> A full copy of the NAPF’s submission to the Government’s consultation can be found on the NAPF website here, along with a copy of the NAPF’s discussion paper ‘Where is the workforce in corporate reporting?’.

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