England: UK Employment Law Update
The Gender Pay Gap Regulations
The Gender Pay Gap Regulations will come into force on 1 October 2016, and will apply to large private and voluntary sector employers with 250 or more employees.
In accordance with the draft Regulations (which are expected to change), affected employers would be required to publish:
- overall gender pay gap figures calculated using both the mean and median average hourly pay;
- the numbers 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,; and
- the proportion of male and female employees who received a bonus in the same 12 month period.
The proposed timetable will require affected employers to provide a ‘snapshot’ report in April 2018, reaching back into previous data. The first full reports will be required in April 2018, with annual reports required thereafter.
Employers must publish their gender pay gap information on their own website, where the information must remain for three years. Employers will have the option of including a narrative explaining any pay gaps and setting out the action they plan to take in order to close them.
It is anticipated that the requirement to publish will be self-enforcing as public access to the information will ensure that instances of non-compliance are readily visible and that demands for compliance will come from employees, shareholders and the general public.
Mandatory gender pay gap reporting will mean additional costs for large employers and could expose them to widespread equal pay claims by both male and female employees. UK companies do have an opportunity to investigate and improve any gender pay gaps before the ‘snapshot’ report and full reports must be published.
If you require advice on UK employment law, please contact Ashfords Employment Team.
Written by Jean Norton
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