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IER research used to inform apprenticeship pay setting

The Low Pay Commission's Report 2020 was launched on 9th December 2020, and was used to set National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates for 2020/21 as announced by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak on 25th November 2020.

IER's report 'How Employers Set Pay For Apprentices' involved a multivariate analysis of apprenticeship pay data, and 30 case study interviews with employers delivering apprenticeship frameworks where low pay was greatest.

The study found that the minimum wage for apprentices applied almost exclusively to new recruits rather than existing employees, who were paid their existing rate for the job. For new recruits, few employers paid the apprentice minimum wage. Instead they added a bonus: as a recognition of the apprentices contribution to the business; out of 'fairness' as part of a Corporate Responsibility; and due to wider market rates either as a result of market forces or because of occupation or sector wide agreed pay rates. The NMW apprentice rate was most likely to be used in those sectors where fully qualified workers were paid the NMW age rate in order to maintain differentials.

Wed 16 Dec 2020, 18:29 | Tags: pay, apprenticeship

The gender pay gap - Blog by Dr. Erika Kispeter

poundMotto: “Very much enjoying all the people trying to explain away the pay gap stats by saying 'oh guys don't worry it's not a REAL pay gap, it's just that all our cleaners and PAs are women, and CEOs and directors are men!'” (@RebeccaCNReid on Twitter)

Regulation requires large companies, charities and public sector organisations in England, Wales and Scotland to disclose their gender pay gap data every year. The deadline for publishing gender pay data for the financial year 2018-19 has now passed and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has promised to take action against all organisations which missed the deadline. Today activists, journalists and academics are poring over the tables and writing up early findings.

I will not engage with the findings but try to look at a few general issues which have emerged from the data and the coverage.

Firstly, there is a confusion between the gender pay gap and un/equal pay. Equal pay means that men and women at the same organisation, performing equal work must be given equal pay, in accordance with the Equality Act 2010 . Gender pay gap measures the difference in the average (hourly) wage of all men and women employed by an organisation. The pay gap is given as a percentage of men’s earnings – in 2018 it was at 17.9% in the UK. It does not measure the difference between the pay of men and women doing the same job, rather, it reflects the differences in men and women's work more generally, including the effect of men and women working in different occupations and in different time patterns. It also reflects the lack of women in more senior roles.

Secondly, the gender pay gap at a given organisation may widen from one year to the next even if the employer truly supports gender equality. This can be the result of a number of senior women leaving the company, or a number of junior women joining the company and taking up relatively low-paid positions. Following the same logic, the pay gap can be reduced by making lower paid women redundant and outsourcing their work, or reducing the pay of higher-earning men.

Overall, the introduction of mandatory gender pay gap reporting was an important step. Companies across the UK (with the exception of Northern Ireland) can no longer remain anonymous and there is hope that the public scrutiny provides an incentive for employers to improve their figures and avoid ‘reputational damage’.

Fri 05 Apr 2019, 17:56 | Tags: gender, pay, gender pay gap

Professor Clare Lyonette chaired a symposium for the Public Policy Exchange on closing the gender pay gap

Gender pay gap event
Clare Lyonette
chaired a stimulating debate on February 6th in London, hosted by Public Policy Exchange, on 'Closing the Gender Pay Gap, Supporting Women and Promoting Equality in the Workplace'.

Morning speakers focused upon tackling gender inequalities and reviewing latest policies and included Alasdair MacDonald, Director of Programmes at the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Dr Carole Easton OBE, Chief Executive of Young Women's Trust, and Julie Jaye Charles, CEO of Equalities National Council.

The afternoon speakers focused on embedding gender equality and supporting women in your workplace: Jenny Pollock and Emma Shute from Women to Work, and Chloe Chambraud, Gender Equality Director from Business in the Community. Delegates included academics, union representatives, government representatives, local and district councillors and HR directors from a variety of public and private sector organisations.

Thu 07 Feb 2019, 10:18 | Tags: gender, pay

Growth Sectors: Data Analysis on Employment Change, Wages and Poverty

graph-163509_1280.jpgA study by Anne Green, Neil Lee (LSE) and Paul Sissons (Coventry University) demonstrates that the sector which an individual works in has a significant impact on their pay, but that the level of local demand for labour is also important. The report is an output from an ESRC-funded project on ‘Harnessing Growth Sectors for Poverty Reduction’. It highlights that low pay is a key feature of the accommodation/food services, residential care, wholesale/retail, and the agriculture, forestry and fishing sectors. Three of these sectors (accommodation / food services, residential care, wholesale and retail) are likely to have the highest employment demand in the medium term. Hence policies are needed which focus on upgrading skills and developing career in order to help reduce low pay and in-work poverty. Find out more in the Growth Sectors report.

School Teacher's Review Body cites IER research

Recent research undertaken by the Warwick Institute for Employment Research on the impact of changes to teachers’ pay on equality in schools in England commissioned by the NASUWT has been cited in the School Teacher's Review Body 26th Report. The research found that teachers with protected characteristics had been particularly disadvantaged by the approach taken by schools. NASUWT have expressed concern about widespread retrospective alteration of school pay policies and practice. Further research will be undertaken in the future to understand the impact of the changes to teachers’ pay in the long-term.

Thu 07 Jul 2016, 09:56 | Tags: teacher pay Faculty of Social Sciences