Government reforms (2): Gender pay gap – Mend the gap!

gender-pay-gap-250What do we already know?

We have been keeping you up to date over the past year on the Government’s proposals to introduce new gender pay reporting requirements and how our Gender Pay Gap Audit service can help you with this.  For an overview of the reporting requirements see our February 2016 Newsletter Government reforms (2): Gender pay – mend the gap!.

The Government issued a consultation in February 2016 which included the draft Equality Act (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2016. These set out the proposed framework for the new gender pay reporting requirements. The consultation closed on 11 March 2016.

What’s new?

We are awaiting the Government’s response to its above consultation.  However, in the meantime the Government Equalities Office (GEO) has confirmed that the publication of the final Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2016 has been delayed and is unlikely to be included in its response.  The GEO instead expects that the Regulations will be laid before Parliament in the autumn, and will commence in April 2017 (rather than 1 October 2016 as previously planned).

The GEO has also launched a new consultation, available here, on how it intends the gender pay reporting requirements to apply to public bodies operating in England (including some whose remit extends to Wales and Scotland). The consultation closes on 30 September 2016.  As expected, the present proposal, subject to consultation, is to apply the new reporting obligations only to public bodies with at least 250 employees.

The reporting duties in the private and public sector are expected to mirror each other and we are also awaiting the regulations which will apply specifically to public bodies to be laid before Parliament.  Until then we won’t know the full detail, but the latest consultation paper gives us a slightly clearer idea of what to expect for the public sector.

This public sector consultation paper says that the first gender pay reports will have to be published no later than 4 April 2018.   This is slightly sooner than the 30 April date originally suggested.