Project period: February – August 2016

This community previously received Initiator Funding for the project: The GW4 Pay Equality Research Consortium (PERC) 

This community later received Sustaining Communities Funding for the project: The GW4 Pay Equality Research Consortium (PERC) 

GW4 community leads

University of Bath: Susan Milner (PI after CW)
University of Bristol: Gregory Schwartz
Cardiff University: Alison Parken, Rhys Davies
University of Exeter: Carol Woodhams (initial PI), Emma Jeanes

Project overview

PERC will undertake a feasibility study for the development and operation of a secure sustainable pay data collection platform, which would facilitate multi-level research.

Twitter: @GW4EqualPay


The UK Government has a stated objective to close the pay gap between men and women to nil by 2035. On 14 July 2015, they launched a consultation on regulations that will make it mandatory for companies with 250 or more employees to publish their gender pay gap. Implementation is expected in March 2016. Currently the precise details and format of reporting requirements is unclear. It will be the task of organisations such as EHRC, ACAS, the CIPD, the CBI, the TUC and individual unions to advise UK employers on good practice implementation.

Project summary

The aim of the Accelerator project was to scope the feasibility for the development of an innovative and sustainable data collection platform that will engage employers interested in analysing the causes of pay gaps. Funds were used to facilitate interviews and online surveys of employers to scope the opportunities and barriers of this type of data collection. The team met with university lawyers to explore the legal issues that might be raised through the development of a payroll data collection tool, and met with software providers to discuss options for the platform itself. The funds also supported community planning meetings and a large workshop with stakeholders.

The PERC community have continued their research into actions to tackle gender pay gaps, and have worked to feed research into policy-maker networks, through the Government Equalities Office and its WAGE network of academics, and the Welsh government. They recently received a Sustaining Communities Initiative Award from GW4 to renew their stakeholder network, form new collaborations across GW4 and analyse and understand the gender pay gap data now being collected: with the primary aim to submit a funding application to sustain the research community.