Seddons employment team solicitor Harry Abrams considers executive pay reporting, "the year of the pay gap" and other employment law trends in 2019.
What should employers be aware of in 2019?
This could be the “year of the pay gap”. There’s already a legal requirement for companies with more than 250 employees to publish their gender pay gap calculations annually. But in 2019, further reporting requirements will be introduced. The first tranche of gender pay gap reporting made for interesting reading; what will be even more so is whether companies have taken steps in the past year to address any significant reported gap. It’s expected that the 2019 figures will receive heavy scrutiny to assess if any wide gap has been rectified, or has, in fact, widened. These new figures could have a significant impact on the reputation of any company in question.
What else is happening this year around pay and reporting?
While leaders are getting their heads around the gender pay-gap requirement, January 2019 saw the introduction of executive pay reporting. This requires UK companies with more than 250 employees to provide calculations demonstrating the gap between their CEO‘s remuneration package and that of their ‘average’ employee. The first set of reports isn’t due until 2020, but 2019 is when companies will have to carry out the work.
What's behind this?
A drive for transparency and accountability and the need to address any public concern over pay inequality. There have been examples of companies receiving investor and public backlash in relation to the level of remuneration their executives received as compared to their general workforce. Persimmon, for example, was heavily criticised when its CEO was awarded a £75m bonus while some employees failed to receive the living wage.
Is there more in the pipeline around pay and legal obligations?
This year may also see confirmation of ethnicity pay-gap reporting, though, currently, this remains in a consultation.