Analysing pay and remuneration systems

What does 'pay' mean in the pay survey?

The pay survey looks at salaries in their entirety. When the salary comprises different parts, all components are included, both the basic salary as well as different supplementary allowances. Various fringe benefits are also considered to be included in the pay.

In the pay survey the pay includes all salary benefits no matter what they are based on, such as a collective agreement or employment contract. It may also be a salary benefit that has been decided by the employer, such as a performance-based bonus.

How are salaries recorded in the pay survey?

For each group considered, the mean value for women's salaries and men's salaries is included in the pay survey. They can be reported as an amount in euros or as the mean value of women's salaries' as compared to the mean value of men's salaries in percentages. 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, such as the median of average salaries in the pay survey. In order to see 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 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. No salary component may include discrimination when it is analysed separately.

The Act requires that if there are remuneration systems in use at the workplace in which wages consist of salary components, then the most essential pay elements are reviewed to find out the reasons behind the discovered salary differences. The Ombudsman for Equality recommends for salaries to be described by salary components already when preparing the pay survey. This would make it easier to ensure that there are no unfounded differences in pay at the workplace. This would also be practical, as there would be no need to collect more detailed data and analyse it by salary component at a later date when assessing possible reasons for salary differences. 

Remuneration systems under scrutiny as well

In connection with the pay survey, it would also be useful to assess the remuneration system or systems in use.

The assessment could for example include:

  • whether the criteria for the determination of job-specific pay objectively guarantee equal pay for work of equal value
  • whether the criteria for personal pay components are non-discriminatory
  • what salary benefits are paid to female-dominated and male-dominated employee groups and whether various harmful circumstances are taken into consideration in the salary of different employee groups, or what fringe benefits employees in different employee groups receive.
  • how the criteria for paying out performance-based bonuses treat employees on maternity leave and other family leave.