UK politicians are demanding law and accounting firms revise figures on how male and female staff are remunerated amid criticism that their partnership structures let them understate the gender pay gap.
British companies with more than 250 employees have until 4 April to provide authorities with data on how they pay staff. Among those to report so far, professional-services companies including Linklaters and EY have shown much narrower gender gaps than banks, like Barclays Plc. But that’s partly because those firms class their top-earning partners as owners rather than employees, enabling them to be excluded from the figures.
The Equalities and Human Rights Commission, which operates at arm’s length from the government, has the discretion to punish employers that don’t comply with the data requirements. Dawn Butler, the opposition Labour Party’s shadow minister for women and equalities, said professional firms should face sanctions if they don’t resubmit figures more in line with the spirit of the law.