Employment

Closing the Gap - Gender Pay Gap

On 6th April 2017, the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 (the Regulations). The Regulations require all organisations with more than 250 employees to publish the pay gaps between male and female employees within the organisation. The figure must show the gap that exists in both salaries and bonuses.

Why do we need reporting on the gender pay gap?

According to pressure groups lobbying the government for equal pay, women will earn significantly less over their lifetime than their male counterparts.  The current pay gap between full time workers is 13.9%.

What causes the gender pay gap?

The four main causes of the gender pay gap are:

  • Discrimination – although it is illegal under the Equal Pay Act 1970 many women still receive less pay than men even though they are performing exactly the same job.  
  • Part-time, low-skilled work – women are traditionally dominant in these sectors.
  • Women are still society’s carers – within families, more often than not it is the women who takes on the role of caring for children and elderly relatives.
  • Males are more likely to be in senior roles – the highest paid roles are still predominantly filled by men.

How is the gender pay gap calculated under the Regulations?

Using a ‘snapshot’ date of 5th April, employers must collate the salary or wage and bonus information for all their employees over a relevant period.

After the data is collected, the Regulations define six calculations to be carried out:

  • average gender pay gap as a mean average;
  • average gender pay gap as a median average;
  • average bonus gender pay gap as a mean average;
  • average bonus gender pay gap as a median average;
  • proportion of males receiving bonus payments and proportion of females receiving bonus payments; and
  • proportion of males and females when divided into four groups ordered from lowest to highest pay”.

When does a company have to publish the information?

Companies must publish their first report by 4th April 2018.

Where is the gender pay gap information published?

The information should be set out on the company’s website and on a specially built government website.  The data must remain on the organisation’s website for three years.

Is there a penalty for not complying with the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017?

Organisations with more than 250 employees are legally required to publish information about the gender pay gap within their business and the Equality and Human Rights Commission can enforce it.  There is also a risk of a PR disaster if a business chooses not to publish the information as the public and media are bound to wonder what they are hiding.

To find out more about the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 you can find an employment law solicitor by searching through Solicitors Gury today.


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