Remuneration committees establishing company cultures

The CIPD has published a report in association with The High Pay Centre, who are…

“…an independent, non-partisan think tank focused on the causes and consequences of economic inequality, with a particular interest in top pay. We run a programme of research, events and policy analysis involving business, trade unions, investors and civil society focused on achieving an approach to pay practices that enjoys the confidence of all stakeholders.”

…entitled Role of the RemCo: how to achieve good governance of pay, people and culture – Roadmap for HR leaders seeking to broaden the remit of remuneration committees” 

They describe it as a response to rising public concern about pay inequality prompted the introduction of a revised UK Corporate Governance Code. This initiated reforms to broaden the remit of boards and remuneration committees (RemCos) – which manage executive pay – to ensure they give more attention to associated issues such as culture, fair and proportionate workforce pay, and employee engagement.

Inevitably, there’s no mention of how this extends to the way that freelancers, short-term employees, and outsourced labour, in general, are treated. A glaring gap, surely?

The recommendations set out ways in which employers can:

  1. Formalise people and culture matters as a board-level issue. This should include expanding the remit of the RemCo to include review of workforce pay, people matters and culture, rather than solely focusing on executive pay.
  2. Measure company performance in respect of social and environmental outcomes as well as financial metrics.
  3. Undertake meaningful engagement with the workforce, with substantive worker involvement in the pay-setting process.

It will be interesting to see how unions respond to this – I suspect we’d be tempted to add the word “ersatz” into each of those points in some way or another, although the report is fairly warm about engaging constructively with unions where they are in place.

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