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Philomena Price
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01295 204147
pprice@se-law.co.uk

Update on obligations on employers to report on the gender pay gap

by Philomena Price | May 20, 2019 |
Gender Pay gap

The Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 came into force on 6 April 2017 and imposes obligations on relevant employers to analyse their data and compile a report on their gender pay gap. These reports must be published on the employer’s public website and be submitted to the government.

Which employers need to report?

Relevant employers are those employers based in Great Britain who are a private or voluntary sector employer with 250 or more employees on the "snapshot date" which is 5 April in the relevant year.

Public sector employers have substantially similar reporting obligations which were introduced on 31 March 2017 but there are some differences. If you are a public sector employer then advice should be sought to ensure all relevant obligations are being met.

What needs to be in the report?

The report under these regulations must include:

  • Overall gender pay gap figures calculated using both the mean and median average hourly pay.
  • The proportion of men and women in each of four pay bands based on the employer’s overall pay range.
  • Information on the employer’s gender bonus gap.
  • The proportion of male and female employees who received a bonus.
  • A written statement confirming the information in the report is correct. This should be signed by an appropriate senior individual.

There is also an option for the employer to include an explanation of their gender pay gap or the measures they are undertaking to combat it.

Results of the reports so far

The first reports submitted on 4 April 2018, showed a median gender pay gap of 9.7% with the second year of reports submitted on 4 April 2019 showing a median gender pay gap of 9.6%. Although the median gender pay gap had decreased in 2019 45% of employers did report that they had seen their gender pay gap increase for that year.

Measures for employers

Employers can take measures to reduce their gender pay gap with multiple sources of guidance, such as Acas and the Government Equalities Office (GEO), being available. One source of guidance provided by the GEO suggests that employers could take measures such as promoting an inclusive culture, supporting women’s career development and progression for part-time workers.

Further information on this can be found in the Government’s workplace action note available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/788294/Women-Progression-Workplace-Action-Note.pdf 

Penalties

Employers that breach the regulations by failing to report on time or report inaccurate data risk legal action from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

The threat of negative publicity is also considered a motivator for employers to improve their recruitment, pay and promotions.

Just recently Typhoo Tea Ltd, Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Limited and Northern Automotive Systems Ltd were publicly named by the EHRC as employers who have failed to report on time for the second year in a row. At the time of publishing this article these employers had since reported but the EHRC has now named 47 employers who have failed to report this year.

The EHRC are now investigating these employers to see whether their failure breaks the law. If the failure is found to be a breach of the law the employers will be required to publish the figures immediately. If they do not cooperate they could be issued with a formal notice which is enforceable in court and with an unlimited fine.

Repeat late gender pay gap reporters named and shamed by equality regulator https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/our-work/news/repeat-late-gender-pay-gap-reporters-named-and-shamed-equality-regulator

Gender pay gap: our enforcement action https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/pay-gaps/gender-pay-gap-our-enforcement-action

Other useful links:

Four steps to developing a gender pay gap action plan:
https://gender-pay-gap.service.gov.uk/public/assets/pdf/action-plan-guidance.pdf

Eight ways to understand your organisation’s gender pay gap:
https://gender-pay-gap.service.gov.uk/public/assets/pdf/understand-your-gender-pay-gap.pdf

The Women's Business Council Men as Change Agents group’s (MACA) toolkit on closing the pay gap
https://www.womensbusinesscouncil.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/MACA_Achieving_gender_balance_in_business_leadership_and_closing_the_gender_pay_gap_April_2018.pdf

Get in touch

If you need any further advice, please do get in contact. Call Philomena Price, ​Director and Employment Law Solicitor at Spratt Endicott Solicitors on 01295 204147, or email pprice@se-law.co.uk.

*Disclaimer: While everything has been done to ensure the accuracy of the contents of this article, it is a general guide only. It is not comprehensive and does not constitute legal advice. Specific legal advice should be sought in relation to the particular facts of a given situation.

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