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Gender Pay Gap Reporting in Schools – Three Common Mistakes to Avoid

As you will be aware, it is a legal requirement for employers with 250 or more employees to publish statutory calculations every year demonstrating how large the pay gap is between their male and female employees.

Even if you have less than 250 employees, it is advised that you should give serious consideration to the benefits of publishing the information.

When it comes to understanding how Gender Pay Gap legislation applies to the education sector  there is a lot to consider, but here are three common mistakes to avoid to get you started:

1 - Ignoring contractors when calculating the number of ‘employees’

In gender pay gap legislation, an ‘employee’ is anyone engaged under a contract to personally do work.

Therefore, if a contractor is personally contracted to undertake work, they are caught,  even if genuinely self-employed people are not.

Contractors can easily be overlooked but some examples of contractors you should be mindful of include minibus drivers, sports coaches, counsellors, exam invigilators and visiting music teachers.

2 - Being insensitive to gender identity

The requirement to report gender pay should not result in employees being singled out or questioned about their gender.

Regulations do not define the terms ‘male’ and ‘female’, and you have a responsibility to be sensitive to how an employee chooses to self-identify.

It is recommended that you start by using the gender identity that the employee has provided for HR and payroll purposes, though it is important that these records are regularly updated.

It is advisable to establish a method which enables all employees to confirm or update their gender, in the event that you consider this information not to be accurate.

This can be handled proactively when informing employees that gender pay reporting is taking place and can be done by inviting employees to check their recorded gender and updating it if required.

3 - Not adding a supporting narrative

Only private and voluntary sector employers are legally required to have an accompanying statement with Gender Pay Gap statistics, though we advise all schools to produce one.

A Gender Pay Gap does not necessarily mean that you have acted discriminatorily or inappropriate, which is why a supporting narrative can be beneficial.

Supporting narratives provide an opportunity to contextualise the data, outline what you intend to do to close the gender pay gap and give the reader a chance to understand your view.

Introducing EPM

EPM’s Payroll & Pensions service is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP) for achieving the Payroll Assurance Scheme and Payroll Quality Partnership.

With a 100% focus on education and 25 years of experience, we are proud to have been shortlisted for the CIPP’s Payroll Service Provider of the Year Award for the last two years running.

From proactive legislation updates to unlimited telephone advice from a dedicated named expert, we act as an extension of your internal team.


EPM is this year’s MAT Summit Theatre sponsor. Join them at 11am in the MAT Summit for their interactive session titled ‘Redefining your People Strategy: Key Considerations for Academies and MATs’.