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Gender pay gap reporting – what you will need to do finally confirmed

The revised Regulations, which confirm exactly what employers need to do to comply with the duty to provide gender pay gap information, have been…

The revised Regulations, which confirm exactly what employers will need to do to comply with the duty to provide gender pay gap information, have finally been published.  There have been some significant changes to them since the draft versions were consulted upon earlier this year. We know that many of you have been grappling with these requirements and what your numbers will look like. These revised Regulations will mean you need to revisit some of what you have prepared.

Remember that these Regulations apply only to private and voluntary sector employers with over 250 employees (in England, Wales and Scotland).

They do not apply to public sector employers subject to the public-sector equality duty. However, as a result of a separate consultation, it is likely that public sector employers in England will be covered by similar provisions in the near future. It is important to note that public bodies in Scotland with more than 20 employees are already required to publish gender pay gap data.

What’s changed?

For those of you that have already considered this issue, the key things which have changed between the draft Regulations and these revised ones are:

  • The information on pay required will be a snapshot for the pay period which covers 5 April 2017 (rather than the 30 April).

  • The bonus year for which bonus statistics will need to be provided has also moved forward, so it will cover bonuses paid on or after the 6 April 2016.

  • The method used to calculate the hourly rate of pay (which you must do for every employee) has been confirmed in more detail.

  • Importantly, you do not need to provide pay data for any employee who is being paid reduced or nil pay during the relevant pay period as a result of being on leave (including maternity and sick leave).

  • There is more detail about the working hours which count.

  • There is some greater clarity about how you value bonus pay.

  • There is an additional requirement to provide a figure for the difference in median bonus pay between the genders (in addition to the mean difference).    
                       
  • The statistics which are required in relation to pay quartiles have been changed.

  • Workers (as well as employees) are included but not if it is not reasonably practicable to obtain the relevant data in relation to them.

  • The Equality & Human Rights Commission can take enforcement action.       
         

What remains the same?

The key points which remain unchanged are:

  • The obligation is to report within a year, so by April 2018, and subsequently on an annual basis (although now the last possible date for the first report is 4 April 2018); 

  • All employers will have to publish information calculated on the same basis;

  • You will be required to publish figures which show: the difference in mean pay between male and female employees;  the difference in median pay; and the difference in mean bonus pay earned between male and female employees during the previous 12 months; and the proportion of male and female employees who received bonus pay in the same period;

  • The information will be required to be accompanied by a written statement which confirms the information is accurate and is signed by a director, partner, or the most senior employee; 

  • The information must be published on your organisation’s website and be kept there for at least three years; and

  • The government has decided not to impose any requirement on employers to provide other information or to explain the gender pay gap. However for many of you the explanation of your gender pay gap and what you are doing to address it will be the most important part of the statement. 


What will this mean for me?

Getting the numbers, their presentation, and the timing of publication right for your organisation will require some thought. The fundamental principles and many of the numbers which you will need to provide remain unchanged, but some of the detail has been changed or clarified. If the reporting obligation applies to you, and you have not yet run the numbers or considered the explanations which you will provide for any gender pay gap, we would recommend doing so as soon as you can. We are happy to help.

The detail above is only a summary of a complex set of requirements. Please do speak to us about how they apply to you.

The Government has stated that supporting non-statutory guidance to help employers meet the regulatory requirements will be published after Parliament has approved the Regulations.


If this raises any issues for your organisation please speak to your usual contact in the Weightmans employment, pensions and immigration team or contact Phil Allen on phil.allen@weightmans.com.