Whilst some progress has been made both in terms of Fujitsu releasing it’s own report of the gender pay gap and stated intention of carrying out an Equal Pay Audit, there is still a long way to go to fully address the issues.
The summary of the dossier reads
The latest company accounts show the top director of Fujitsu Services Limited, the main UK company, receiving £1,635,000 – more than 100 times the salary of its lowest paid staff. Fujitsu’s pay inequality is worse than the general UK labour market. Analysis of median Fujitsu salaries (IRS) against Fujitsu’s view of market rates (MRS) shows that Fujitsu generally pays workers in lower paid jobs less than market rates and workers in the highest paid jobs above market rates. Anyone would think the highest paid people were taking the decisions.
Fujitsu recently published a report (https://goo.gl/J29ssx) showing that its Gender Pay Gap (GPG) was 16.7% (mean) and 17.9% (median), while the gap on bonus was 40.8% (mean) and 23.6% (median). These figures illustrate the proportion of the average male salary that the average woman misses out on. Fujitsu says that the biggest cause of its GPG is the under-representation of women in better paid senior management, technical and sales roles. However, Unite’s analysis, using data from the Manchester Bargaining Unit, suggests that women are on average paid 1.7% less relative to the IRS for their role compared to men – suggesting that “in role” pay is an issue as well as job segregation.
In addition this data shows that the gender pay gap is far from consistent; demographics plays a significant role, particularly the different age profile of male and female employees. Unite found huge variations with age, with younger women actually getting paid more than men, and between business units, with women within BAS suffering a GPG of 27.1% compared to just 9.3% in EPS. This is particularly striking given that BAS was the area where Unite demonstrated a very strong correlation between gender and redundancy selection in a previous redundancy programme. Fujitsu has addressed this apparent discrimination by refusing to release the equality information associated with the Agenda 2020 redundancy selection.
It is encouraging that Fujitsu has published its report before the statutory deadline, and shared some plans to improve gender diversity. Improving recruitment and promotion processes and putting flexible working policies into practice could make a real difference. However, there are big gaps. Fujitsu’s action plan is focused on getting better use of available workers, not on tackling discrimination in areas such as work allocation with jobs (especially for assignment workers), performance management, pay reviews, benefit allocation and redundancy selection – all of which have large elements of management discretion and potential bias. Fujitsu still shows no interest in addressing the fact that its pay system uses nearly all the “risky practices” identified in the statutory Code of Practice on Equal Pay.
Friday 10 November is Equal Pay Day, the date after which women would be working for free if they were paid at the same hourly rate as men. It was strike action of women union members at Ford Dagenham that led to the introduction of equal pay legislation, which helped reduce the GPG from 36% for full-time workers and 49% for part-time workers in 1970. Within Fujitsu the union has been campaigning over this issue for decades, including supporting several legal cases to force more transparency over pay scales and supporting members with equal pay cases.
The news that Fujitsu intends to carry out an Equal Pay Review this financial year is extremely welcome – they have been promising this for ten years. Unfortunately it is hard for employees have any confidence in the process because it is shrouded in secrecy. Fujitsu abolished Fujitsu Voice, which has meant that employees no longer have access to UK-wide information about pay review outcomes, let alone influence over it. The company refused to agree to the Your Forum replacement covering pay and benefits to the same extent. Unite is having to use rights arising from recognition in Manchester to bring a legal case to force disclosure of UK-wide pay equality information; this case is due to be heard on 4 December. In the meantime, Unite is publishing this updated version of its dossier on pay inequality in Fujitsu based on the information currently available.