Mandatory gender pay gap reporting possible, says Jersey's Chief Minister

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THE government is ‘actively considering’ the introduction of mandatory gender pay gap reporting for companies, the Chief Minister has said.

Last week, Statistics Jersey released a report highlighting that the Island’s gender pay gap had increased from 10% to 12% in the months leading to June 2022 – its highest level since 2016.

Speaking to the JEP yesterday ahead of International Women’s Day, Deputy Kristina Moore said: ‘We are currently producing a government response to the Scrutiny report made by the Gender Pay Gap Review Panel.

‘This will be released in the coming days. It outlines our general agreement with the majority of the panel’s recommendations, which includes that we are actively considering the introduction of mandatory gender pay gap reporting over a period of time.’

Organisations in the UK with a headcount of 250 or more must publish their gender pay gap reports by 30 March each year (4 April for private or voluntary sector organisations), but this is a measure currently not required by private companies in Jersey.

In 2022, a report from Jersey’s Gender Pay Gap Review Panel found that a majority of stakeholders supported the introduction of mandatory reporting. The Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development believed it should be a ‘priority’ and the Diversity Network said it was ‘necessary to ignite real change’.

The panel recommended that the government should ‘take the necessary action to introduce statutory gender pay gap reporting in Jersey which should include a requirement for businesses to publish a five-year action plan alongside their reports’.

In response to the potential impact on the business community, it also recommended that ‘a consultation should be undertaken with businesses in order to determine the appropriate threshold level for mandatory reporting and what level of support businesses might require in order to report on their gender pay gaps effectively’.

The Chief Minister further added: ‘Other countries have achieved much in terms of board diversity without having to impose mandatory quotas, and as society progresses and there is greater awareness of the importance of diversity, then we are making progress.’

She said: ‘While Jersey’s pay gap is still better than the international average, we are not in any way complacent.

‘We can always do better.

‘It is an area that we will continue to focus on and monitor and we encourage companies at this stage to voluntarily report their gender pay gap.

‘We have developed a template to share with companies to help them make the process easier.’

Jill Britton, director general of the Jersey Financial Services Commission, added: ‘In Jersey, we should be more aligned to the UK rule about publishing data and holding private companies publicly accountable.

‘A level of commitment and transparency does make a difference.’

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