On 5 April 'The Equality Act (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017' were introduced. These regulations require organisations from Great Britain with a headcount of over 250 employees to publish details of their gender pay gap.
Despite the Equal Pay Act being in place for nearly 50 years there remains a disparity between the earnings of men and women. The Institute for Fiscal Studies advises that the hourly pay for female employees is on average 18% less than men's pay, hence the need for action.
The idea behind the Gender Pay Gap Report is not to discipline those organisations with a disparity but rather to promote transparency and to explore why a gender pay gap exists and what steps can be taken to plug the gap.
Who Has to Report?
The regulations require every organisation with 250 or more employees to publish its Gender Pay Gap Report. Failure to do so will not only sour your reputation but will mean that you are acting unlawfully and the Equality and Human Rights Commission may take enforcement action.
The Government hopes that these regulations will encourage every employer regardless of size to review their gender pay gap, take stock of their own practices and implement changes to reduce the gap.
The key date for this report is 31 March 2017 for public sector organisations or 5 April 2017 for businesses and charities (the "Snapshot Date"). This is the date on which the calculations are based.
Organisations have 12 months from the Snapshot Date to gather their data, make their calculations and to publish their Gender Pay Gap Report together with any supporting narrative.
What Needs to Be Reported
Organisations need to publish six key calculations on their website and on a specific government site including:
- The mean gender pay gap
- The median gender pay gap
- The mean bonus gender pay gap
- The median bonus gender pay gap
- Proportion of males and females receiving a bonus
- Proportion of males and females in each pay quartile
For guidance on how to make these calculations please see the government overview or the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) guidance notes.
What does it mean for you...
If you are an organisation with 250 or more employees as at 5 April 2017 you will need to do an assessment of your gender pay gap as soon as possible.
If you find that you have a significant gender pay gap you may wish to consider reviewing your internal policies and procedures with regard to recruitment, addressing diversity issues, review existing pay schemes etc.
If you have any questions about the Gender Pay Gap Report or if you need any assistance with your internal policies and procedures Fosters Solicitors are here to help.