What do we already know?
We have been keeping you up to date over the past year on the Government’s proposals to introduce mandatory gender pay reporting. For an overview of the reporting requirements see our February 2016 Newsletter Government reforms (2): Gender pay – mend the gap!.
The final draft of the Gender Pay Gap reporting regulations for the private and voluntary sectors (the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017) has been published and will come into force on 6 April 2017, subject to parliamentary approval. (The regulations for the public sector in England are likely to be identical and we will let you know about them as soon as they are confirmed.)
The Government has also published its response to the consultation exercise on these regulations (available here), explaining how it took into account the responses and suggestions made to it. Refreshingly (for these days), the Government appears to have made quite a few changes to its original draft regulations, based on the responses received.
The key changes, following consideration of the responses to the consultation exercise, are:
There is still no clear enforcement mechanism or penalty for a failure to publish the data. However, the consultation response paper suggests that the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s existing enforcement powers will apply so that any employer who does not comply with the regulations will be open to formal investigation by the EHRC.
For all private and voluntary sector employers with 250+ employees, their first gender pay gap report (in respect of their April 2017 pay data) must be published by 4 April 2018 at the very latest and then kept available for three years on their website, as well as being uploaded to a new Government website. Public sector employers are highly likely to be subject to the same duty and more details to confirm this should be forthcoming in the next few weeks.
Our Gender Pay Gap service