Lloyds Banking Group recently reported its April 2018 gender pay gap results in line with the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information Regulations 2017). The Groups mean gender pay gap reduced narrowly from 32.8% (2017) to 31.5% (2018). In other words, women in Lloyds Banking Group earn 68p (67p last year) for every £1 that men earn.

The Groups mean gender bonus gap increased from 65.2% (2017) to 66.4% (2018).

An analysis of the Group’s gender pay gap reports can be found below.

Employers have until to April to report their gender pay gaps (10,500 companies reported last year) and the 6% that have reported so far are showing a median gender pay gap of 11.4%, small decline from 11.8% a year ago. Research by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission said that just one in five of the 400 companies it sampled had produced an action plan setting out how it was going to deal with the pay gaps, something which the Government expected all would do. Lloyds Banking Group has produced no such action plan or target to measure its progress. We believe such action plans and targets should be mandatory or the reporting exercise will simply become a waste of time. It will become the end in itself, rather than the means to an end, namely pay equality.

What’s The Story?

What many companies, including LBG, keep stressing is that they don’t have an equal pay problem and the reason for the gender pay gap is “ a higher proportion of women in junior roles and a higher proportion of men in senior roles”. But that kind of explanation will wear a bit thin if nothing changes over the next few years. Lloyds Banking Group says that it’s got a comprehensive plan in place to ensure it achieves it target of having 40% of senior roles filled by women by 2020. However, that will not be enough to make a significant dent in the gender pay gap. 34% of senior roles were filled by women in 2017 and that figure had increased to 35% by 2018 but the gender pay gap had reduced by only 1.3%. So even if the Bank hits its 40% target in two years, and that looks very challenging on the basis of progress so far, that will still result in LBG having significant gender pay and bonus gaps.  What is the Bank going to do then? Increase its target from 40% of women in senior roles to 50% or even 60%? Relying on one lever to solve the problem is not going to work.

The Government is also consulting on requiring employers to report their “ethnicity pay gap” and we think Lloyds Banking Group should do that automatically given that its goal to increase overall B.A.M.E. (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) representation to 10% and to 8% at senior management levels by 2020. Following the BBC equal pay scandal, some commentators suggested that it should publish all staff salaries and benefits in order to create full pay transparency. Such an approach would certainly deal with the pay gap issue but at what expense to the business?

We will be writing to the Government suggesting changes to the current regulations and would welcome the input of members. Members with any suggestions or any questions can contact the Union’s Advice Team on 01234 262868 or email us at 24hours@btuonline.co.uk.

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