The wage gap – broadly defined as the differential between executive earnings and earnings at the lowest levels in organisations – is an emotive issue not just in South Africa, but across the globe.
An example in recent popular media is the story of Karen Martin, a BBC Manager who declined a management job after learning the offer attached was for £12,000 (roughly R225,000) less than her male counterpart – for the same job.
Around the same time Karen’s story broke, it was revealed that the BBC was already facing an inquiry with the Equality and Human Right Commission over equal pay and claims that men have historically been paid more than woman for the same job. This has placed a spotlight on the challenges organisations face by not prioritising equal pay.
The example set by Karen Martin and the BBC shows that improved governance standards and pay disclosure requirements in recent years have merely served to inflame union concerns about pay equity. In Britain in late March and early April 2019, it was mandated that companies with more than 250 employees disclose their pay disparities. The BBC responded to the call by developing a calculator that shows how big the wage gap for certain UK organisations. We tested the calculator based on the BBC Studios Distribution Ltd. itself and got the following results:
It shows that the company’s pay gap is higher than the average of all companies (the pay gap is 17.2% in favour of men, and the average is sitting at 9.6%).
Are your pay structures equitable?
Employers are encouraged to take the necessary steps to eliminate differences in conditions of employment – particularly when it comes to remuneration. The importance of formulated and strategic reward management helps keep businesses out of the negative spotlight, and aids in attracting and retaining talent.
Key considerations for remuneration equity
- Is the job being compared to the same, or of equal value, in an objective job evaluation assessment?
- Is there a difference in the terms and conditions of employment, including remuneration? If so, can these differences be justified on fair and rational grounds?
Where to get started with equitable pay structures
- Address the equal pay for equal work imperative at your workplace.
- Implement on-line job grading and evaluation policies that support internal equity.
- Ensure external equity by gaining access to national and industry-specific pay and benefits market data across all sectors of the economy.
The Equal Pay for Equal Work initiative is gathering momentum in South Africa, elevating the need for soul, defensive approach to pay-line determination. P E Corporate Services offers state of the art on-line technology in this area: