Government Equalities Office consults on mandatory gender pay gap reporting regulations

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12 Feb, 2016

The Government Equalities Office is today consulting on draft regulations that will introduce mandatory gender pay gap reporting for private and voluntary sector employers in England, Scotland and Wales with at least 250 employees (“the consultation”). The consultation closes on 11 March 2016.

The latest consultation follows a consultation in July 2015 (“the July consultation”) which consulted on how to address the discrepancy between the average earnings of men and women employed by the largest UK employers (referred to as the 'Gender Pay Gap').  The government response to the July consultation has been published summarising the feedback received and should be read alongside the consultation launched today in order to understand the content of the draft regulations.

Key aspects of the draft regulations include:

  • The regulations will apply to employers with 250 or more ‘relevant employees’.  A ‘relevant employee’ is defined as “someone who ordinarily works in Great Britain and whose contract is governed by UK legislation”.
  • They will come into force from 1 October 2016 although employers will not be expected to publish the required information immediately.
  • Employers will have 18 months (from 1 October 2016) to publish the required information for the first time and then must publish the information annually thereafter. 
  • Employers will need to publish:
    • Their overall mean and median gender pay gaps.
    • The difference between the mean bonus payments paid to men and women.
    • The number of men and women in each quartile of their pay distribution.  Employers will need to calculate their own salary quartiles based upon their overall pay range.

This information will be required to be published on the employer’s website and will be required to retain the information online for three years.  Such information must also be uploaded to a government sponsored website to evidence compliance.

The government has announced that supporting guidance to help employers implement the regulations will be published later this year.

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