Newsflash: ACAS publishes draft GPG guidance

What do we already know?

We have been keeping you up to date 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!

We now know that private and voluntary sector employers will be required to publish their first GPG data based on their April 2017 payroll (for those employed on 5 April 2017), while public sector employers will be required to publish their GPG data based on their March 2017 payroll (for those employed on 31 March 2017).

What’s new?

The long awaited ACAS guidance on GPG reporting has been published in draft form.  The guidance:

  • Helpfully explains the basic differences between the Gender Pay Gap and equal pay as concepts, and also lists the main causes of the GPG.
  • Confirms that ‘workers’, as well as employees, need to be covered by the GPG data and specifically reminds employers that this may include self-employed contractors.
  • Provides a useful explanation about overseas employees.
  • Suggests that if an employee “does not self-identify as either gender” then they can be omitted from the GPG report.  Our view is that this suggestion is not in line with the legislation and is therefore incorrect and unsafe advice to give, as things stand.  The legislation appears to be clear that the GPG data must cover all employees and it does not provide such an opt-out. Indeed, the rest of ACAS’s own guidance makes it repeatedly clear that the GPG data must cover all employees (without exception).   
  • Provides some limited explanations of the calculations required, but not in a particularly clear, step-by-step way.
  • Provides a list of which senior official is required to approve and sign the statement of accuracy.
  • Provides some guidance on what the employer’s narrative might contain.
  • Provides some (non-mandatory) suggestions of positive action that employers can take to improve pay equality in their organisation, including management training, flexible working and more family-friendly policies.

We will continue to monitor all developments in this ACAS guidance and all other aspects of the GPG reporting duty and will keep you up-to-date.

If you have any questions, please do get in touch with us.  We’d be very happy to help.

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