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Bonus payments stretch the gender pay gap, says CMI survey

Bonus payments given to male managers are on average double those for women, extending the pay gap between the sexes, says the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

Male managers' average extra payments were £6,442 last year compared with £3,029 for women, according the CMI's study of 43,000 managers. The CMI said men's salaries were already almost 25 per cent higher than women's and that men would earn £141,000 more in bonuses over a lifetime.

At more senior levels, the pay gap for both basic pay and bonuses, increased. Women directors' average bonus is £36,270, while men receive £63,700.

The chief executive of the CMI, Ann Francke, said: 'Despite genuine efforts to get more women onto boards, it's disappointing to find that not only has progress stalled, but women are also losing ground at senior levels. Women are the majority of the workforce at entry level but still lose out on top positions and top pay. The time has come to tackle this situation more systemically.'

She said businesses which failed to address issues such as equal bonuses would lose out in terms of growth, employee engagement, and more ethical management cultures.

The study was assisted by the salary specialists XpertHR. Mark Crail, from XpertHR, said: 'There is no good reason for men to still be earning more in bonuses than women when they are in very similar jobs.

'But it's often the case that men and women have different career paths, with 'male' roles more likely to attract bonuses. While women are generally getting lower bonuses than men, especially at senior levels, they may be entering occupations where there is less of a culture of bonus payments. The question for employers is why that's the case.'

Acas runs training sessions to help employers work within the Equality, diversity and the Equality Act 2010. This coaching includes advice on how fair policies and processes can help avoid legal challenges. Acas also offers training on Equal pay, which covers the steps an organisation should take when considering the introduction of a grading structure based on job evaluation.

Visit the Acas Training and Business Solutions page for more information.

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