Analysing pay and remuneration systems
What does 'pay' mean in the pay survey?
The pay survey looks at salaries in their entirety. The definition of pay includes at least the basic salary and various supplementary allowances. Various fringe benefits are also considered to be included in the pay. So in the pay survey, 'pay' cannot only signify the basic salary, for example.
In the pay survey the pay includes all salary benefits no matter what they are based on. Regulations regarding pay are normally included in collective agreements, but decisions on salary benefits can also be included in contracts of employment or may have been decided by the employer (such as a performance-based bonus).
Comparing average salaries
For each group considered, the mean value for women's salaries and men's salaries is included in the pay survey. The average salary can be reported as an amount in euro or as the mean value of women's salaries' as compared to the mean value of men's salaries. Including both of these figures could help with achieving a complete picture of the pay received by women and men.
It could also be worthwhile to analyse other statistical data in the pay survey. In order to explain whether or not some isolated anomaly can explain the differences in pay, it could also be useful to include the lowest and highest salary of the group of employees.
The salary data has to be included in the pay survey in such a way that no individual employee's salary can be identified. This may require that one group of employees is merged with another group carrying out work which is as similar or as equal in value as possible.
Are salaries entered as total salaries or per salary component?
According to the Equality Act salaries can be entered into the pay survey either as total salaries which include all salary components, or itemised by salary component. The Equality Act requires that all salary components are non-discriminatory on their own, i.e. that no salary component may include discrimination when it is analysed separately.
The Act states that if there are remuneration systems in use at the workplace in which wages consist of salary components, then the most essential pay elements shall be reviewed to find out the reason behind the discovered differences. The Ombudsman for Equality recommends that in this case, salaries should be included in the pay survey as salary components where possible. This would make it easier to ensure that there are no unfounded differences in pay at the workplace. It would also be practical, as there would be no need to collect more detailed data which is itemised by salary component at a later stage to find the reasons behind any differences in pay.
The survey also includes remuneration systems
During the pay survey it would be useful not only to assess the salaries, but also the remuneration systems. The pay criteria within a remuneration system may also be discriminatory.
For the remuneration systems it can, for example, be assessed whether the criteria for the job-specific or personal pay component are neutral regarding gender. It can also be assessed whether or not the criteria for paying out performance-based bonuses treat employees on maternity leave equally. Attention can also be paid to which salary benefits are paid out to each group of employees, for example how various harmful circumstances are taken into consideration in the salary of different employee groups, or what fringe benefits employees in different employee groups receive.