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Government reforms (3): Gender pay gap – mend the gap!

What 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!

In summary, the reporting requirements will require employers to publish the difference between the median and mean average hourly rate of pay paid to male and female employees; the difference between the median and mean average bonus paid to male and female employees; the proportions of male and of female employees who receive bonuses; and the relative proportions of male and female employees in each quartile pay band of the workforce.

We updated you in our August 2016 Newsletter Government reforms (2): Gender pay gap – Mend the gap! that the Government Equalities Office (GEO) had confirmed that publication of the final Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2016 has been delayed and it instead expected that the Regulations would be laid before Parliament in the Autumn and commence in April 2017 (rather than 1 October 2016 as previously planned).

We also updated you that the GEO had launched a new consultation on how it intends the gender pay reporting requirements to apply to public bodies (with more than 250 employees) and that the consultation closed on 30 September 2016.

Similar regulations covering public sector employers operating in England are to be published early next year, followed by guidance from ACAS and the GEO when the regulations have been approved by Parliament.

What’s new?

The Government has now published, in final draft form, the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2016 regulations that will, as expected, take effect from April 2017 and oblige larger employers in the private sector to report on their gender pay gap. Employers’ first gender pay reports will have to be published no later than 4 April 2018, based on hourly pay rates as at 5 April 2017 and bonuses paid between 6 April 2016 and 5 April 2017.

The final Regulations contain a number of changes from the original draft, many of which seem to have been prompted by the responses to the consultation process. There is some useful clarification, but also some unexpected new additions. The key points to note are as follows:

The Government has also published a tool entitled Find the Gender Pay Gap for Your Job. Of interest to HR Professionals – women hold 68% of HR jobs, and on average women are paid 1.9% more than men.

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