Reputation management: How pay ratio reforms can be good for PR

Become an early-adopter and seize the opportunity to publish your pay ratio – it could be good for your reputation

Any proposed change in legislation – especially when it involves number-crunching and extra admin – can sound scary at first. But, if you’re a business owner, you really needn’t be alarmed by the Government’s proposed pay ratio reforms. Instead, try seeing the new measures as potential for some good PR.
Good employers have nothing to fear and everything to gain from the raft of reforms set out today (Tuesday, 29 August) by Business Secretary Greg Clark. In fact, the roll-out of new laws which will force listed companies to reveal the pay ratio between bosses and workers, as well as a range of measures to make sure employee voices are heard in the boardroom, should be seen as an opportunity.
Here’s why. A recent study by the Equality Trust revealed that FTSE 100 company CEOs are pocketing an average of £5.3m a year. That’s 386 times the amount earned by a worker that’s paid the National Living Wage. Now that might sound good if you’re the CEO, but it won’t do much for your business’s reputation when the figures are published in your annual report. It’s also fair to say that the pay gap generated by your own firm is likely to be much narrower.
If you’re a fair employer, getting ahead of the game and publishing the figures before they’re mandatory can speak volumes about your business and its values. Becoming an early-adopter of legislation which promotes transparency and equal pay could help to position your firm as a fair employer and even give you the competitive edge when it comes to recruiting top talent.
By being up-front with the figures, you will build stakeholder trust and earn significant bragging rights which, in turn, can create all sorts of PR opportunities. And even if your CEO-to-average-employee ratio is on the high side, taking stock of the figures now will give you a chance to review pay scales and redress any imbalance while demonstrating your credentials as a responsible employer.
In short, ethical employers have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Publish the figures and get published for all your good work. It’s a win-win.
You might also like >
Government sets out pay ratio reforms for listed companies 
Sponsored by