On 6th December 2016, the Government published the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017, which will require large private sector businesses to publish gender-based pay statistics each year.

These Regulations are likely to come into force (subject to parliamentary approval) on 6th April 2017, and will essentially require employers with 250 or more employees (within the private and voluntary sectors) to publish gender pay information on their company website on 5th April 2018 and thereafter on an annual basis. The information must remain on the website for not less than three years and they must also submit this information to the Government each year (a Government website will be created where the information will have to be published, however details concerning the Government website will likely be released nearer 5th April 2017.)

The above has raised a number of questions from employers such as which individuals need to be taken into account for these purposes, and, exactly what information do they need to provide?

Firstly, in terms of the personnel be taken into account, the Regulations state that such individuals must be undertaking work for the business in a personal capacity, therefore consultants as well as employees, must be accounted for.

Secondly, with regards exactly what information must be provided, the following guidelines are given:

  • the difference in mean pay between male and female employees
  • the difference in median pay between male and female employees
  • the difference in mean bonus pay between male and female employees
  • the difference in median bonus pay between male and female employees
  • the proportions of male and female employees who were paid bonus pay
  • the proportions of male and female employees in each quartile of their pay distribution

The information must be collated from data taken on 5th April every year, starting with 5th April 2017. The bonus information should be based on the preceding 12-month period, beginning with the 12 months leading up to 5th April 2017.

What happens if my business does not comply?

It will be a legal requirement for all employers falling within the scope of the Regulations to publish their gender pay reports. The Equality and Human Rights Commission will have the power to enforce any failure to comply, however a greater risk is arguably reputational damage caused by questions as to why a business has failed to publish this data.

The Regulations provide further guidance on how to calculate hourly pay, irregular hours and bonus payments and they can be found here:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2017/9780111152010

Despite the fact that these Regulations will only apply to larger employers as described above, it would still be good practice for all employers regardless of size, to review how they pay people to ensure it is fair and not discriminatory.

If you have any questions in respect of Gender Pay Gap Information and how the Regulations will affect your business, then please contact Katharine Kelly on 0151 239 1079 or katharinekelly@canter-law.co.uk.