Facebook reveals gender pay gap for UK staff

4th April 2018

Facebook reveals gender pay gap for UK staff

It’s been a pretty miserable few weeks for Facebook. The social media behemoth faced intense criticism after it emerged that data from 50 million users had been harvested and passed on to a political consultancy.

Close to $80bn (£56bn) has been wiped off Facebook’s market value since 16 March, when it revealed it had received reports that Cambridge Analytica had not destroyed data about millions of its US members, as demanded several years previously.

And there was more bad news for the firm last week when it emerged that women working for Facebook’s UK division are paid bonuses worth less than 60% of those their male colleagues receive, despite a similar proportion receiving some kind of top-up award.

The median gender bonus pay gap at the business is 41.5%, according to figures submitted to the Government. However, the equivalent gap for hourly pay was much smaller – 9.9%, which is considerably lower than Google UK, which reported a 16% median hourly rate gender pay gap.

It means that when comparing median hourly rates, Facebook’s female staff earn 90p for every £1 that its male workers earn.

Men take up the majority (70.5%) of high-paying roles at the firm’s UK division, with Facebook admitting that a higher proportion of its senior executives and engineering staff are male. Facebook employs about 1,500 people in the UK.

“The reason for our gender pay gap is unequal representation,” wrote Facebook on its Investor Relations website. “Like many other companies in our industry, we have more men than women working at Facebook.”

Organisations with more than 250 workers had until 4th April to publish their own pay gap data. The figures are accessible to the public via a government website.

How can Gotelee’s Employment Law Solicitors help you?

Having a gender pay gap does not mean that there is then automatically a sex discrimination or an equal pay issue. There are many reasons why a gender pay gap can exist, and if more of the higher paid executives are men, this will most likely impact on the statistics. What it will highlight is that there is more work to be done to reduce the pay gap and to identify if there are any underlying issues which can be tackled and addressed. It also highlights that the starting point is working out what your gender pay gap is; the importance of how you report the statistics to your staff and the potential reasons for it is also important from an employee engagement perspective.

Whilst you’re not obliged to report the reasons for the gender pay gap to your staff, it makes sense to explain why and what you plan to do to improve your statistics.

Understanding your legal obligations around gender pay can be complex. Employers, more than ever before, need sound and clear employment law advice on how to manage these risks and to implement the changes needed to avoid them.

Gotelee’s team of employment law experts, based in Ipswich, Hadleigh, Felixstowe, Woodbridge and Melton, can help your organisation. To find out more about what we can do, contact Andrew West on 01473 298102 or email andrew.west@gotelee.co.uk, or Marie Allen on 01473 298133 or email marie.allen@gotelee.co.uk.

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