A pay transparency checklist

16th May 2024

Staff member Julia

Julia Hanna

Sam’s recent blog on the brilliance of pay transparency caught lots of attention. She outlined the case for pay transparency: it’s the right thing to do, it has positive impacts on both engagement and pay gaps, and employees expect it.

The aim is to help everyone see more clearly how pay and reward are managed. So that current and prospective employees understand how and why decisions are made, and managers are clear and consistent in their approach.

So how ‘Pay transparency ready’ is your organisation?

To help determine current state and next steps, here’s a ten-point checklist that I often discuss with clients:

  1. Is there a clear set of pay principles that align with organisational strategy and culture?
    • Does it articulate aspired market position and the factors that will influence pay such as skills, performance or contribution?
    • Is it openly shared with employees?
  2. Do you have a clear framework of internal career levels?
    • Do employees understand where their role sits in the organisation and why? 
    • Is the framework free from bias and using gender-neutral language?
  3. Do you conduct external pay benchmarking to ensure you’re paying competitively?
    • Is the benchmarking data you use reliable, valid and up to date?
  4. Is there a simple and transparent pay structure?
    • If you’re using raw market data, can it be combined into a pay structure to reduce inherent bias and improve internal equity?
  5. Are pay ranges shared internally and on job adverts so that everyone knows what to expect?
    • Have you removed the outdated question of ‘current salary’ from all hiring conversations?
  6. Are all hiring, promotion and pay review decisions made in line with your principles and pay structure?
    • Do you look across the organisation for wider impact rather than making decisions in isolation?
  7. Are there clear employee communications and manager training in place on pay decisions?
    • Are pay and equity conversations embedded in all people processes?
  8. Are equal pay audits, conducted regularly, with gaps greater than 5% investigated and action taken?
  9. Has gender pay gap reporting been widened to include ethnicity, disability, social mobility etc where sufficient data?
    • Is declaration integrated into your on boarding process?
    • Have steps been taken to encourage declaration rates?
  10. Are the senior team engaged and prepared to invest to ensure that all employees are in the right position on the pay range compared to their peers?

It’s not unusual to have some of these things in place, but gaps elsewhere.  Or maybe you don’t have a coherent approach that brings all of the good reward practice together under the pay equity umbrella.  But crucially, the part that is often missing is what’s at the heart of things, transparency.  

Being confident in your approach to pay and sharing it with your employees will ensure decisions pass scrutiny and create a culture for your talent to thrive.

How we can help

If you’d like help creating a transparent approach to pay and reward, please do get in touch for an initial conversation.

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Related Insights

The brilliance of pay transparency

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Business people talking in cafe

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