April Fools day 2020 saw the hive mind of social media asking what the sample size should be to measure the extent of the Coronavirus in the UK. I could see that many people responding were reaching for standard methodologies which are usually are based on specifying a desired confidence interval. In doing so, they were overlooking a much more effective and relevant alternative based on the methodology of Acceptance Sampling, first developed by the US Military in World War 2.
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Updated on 4th April 2020. New and modified links are italicised.
The Coronavirus Pandemic is a worldwide challenge many of us will have not experienced before. It is natural to want to seek information on the risks and in our world today, it has never been easier to find data, analyses and opinions. Unfortunately, a lot of what you will read out there is either unhelpful or actively misleading. As an independent statistician with 30 years experience of explaining statistics to non-statisticians, my contribution to this crisis will be to try and sort the good from the bad hence this post. [Read more…] about Coronavirus #1 – Useful Data and Links
Update 5/4/20 – On 24th March, the government suspended enforcement of the deadline for reporting 2019 gender pay gaps due to the coronavirus outbreak. As of now, Only 40% of employers have reported their 2019 data. Employers are still required to report 2019 data but will not be punished for being late in doing so.
The government requires all organisations employing 250 or more employees to submit gender pay gap data. All data is available to the public and can be found on the government’s gender pay gap website. I have downloaded this data and created a spreadsheet tool to present the data in a more user-friendly and visual format.
Recently, a lot of people have been making incorrect claims about what a gender pay gap tells you. I have been pointing out these errors but in doing so, I am conscious I come across as a pedant or a negative voice. The problem is that the official gender pay gap measure (the difference between the median man and the median woman) is just a single number and that single number does not capture the full nuance of what is going on. I have decided it is time to introduce the Gender Pay Fingerprint to the world as an alternative and going forward, I will be encouraging people to use this instead.
The BBC presenter Samira Ahmed has won her claim for equal pay at the employment tribunal. She successfully claimed that Jeremy Vine was an appropriate comparator for her pay. She is not the only female presenter to make a claim with over 50 more claims under consideration at present. Assuming that these are all successful, will these have any effect on the BBC’s gender pay gap for 2019 of 7p in the pound?
On 5th February 2020, Baroness Prosser laid a bill in the House of Lords which calls for the introduction of ethnicity pay gap reporting in addition to a number of other initiatives. Last year I explained why ethnicity pay gap reporting cannot follow the same process as gender pay gap reporting so now is the time to explore how ethnicity pay gap reporting could be carried out.
The 14th November 2019 is being incorrectly marked as Equal Pay Day in the UK by the Fawcett Society. By having a campaign name that conflates equal pay issues with the gender pay gap, the Fawcett Society runs the risk of misleading men and women in the UK in their understanding of what these two concepts mean.
If you care about statistics being used correctly then please lobby the Fawcett Society to rename this as Gender Pay Gap day instead.
If you care about issues to do with Equal Pay, then please support the #MeTooPay campaign instead. This is a new campaign, led by Dame Moya Greene, who are explicit about the distinction and are saying, quite rightly, that with the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act taking place next year, cases of unequal pay should not be happening in this day and age.
The Royal Statistical Society (RSS) and I have published two articles to help employers better calculate and interpret their gender pay gaps. The first article lists 10 recommendations to improve the quality of gender pay gap reporting, the second is an article in Significance magazine which explores in more detail, two of the recommendations concerning medians and quartiles.
After two years of mandatory gender pay gap reporting, there is increasing pressure to bring in pay gap reporting for other protected characteristics. At the moment, ethnicity is receiving the greatest attention and a number of politicians are calling for the introduction of mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting.
In this post, I will explain why I am opposed to an ethnicity pay gap reporting process which simply replicates the gender pay gap reporting process. In a future post, I will explore what an ethnicity pay gap reporting process should look like if parliament decides it wants to make this law.
You have just started work for a new employer and with you joining, the company now has 25 employees. All are white including you. Would you raise your eyebrows at that?