The draft Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2016 require employers, with more than 250 employees, to publish their first gender pay gap report by 30 April 2018, giving you up to 12 months from the pay period covered by the report to do this. The report must appear on your website, in English, in a manner that is accessible to all your employees and to the public. Once published it must remain there for at least three years.
Employers will have to publish the results, but not the raw data on which the calculations are based, for each of the benchmarks set out below:
- The mean gender pay gap
- The median gender pay gap
- The mean bonus pay gap
- The proportion of men and women receiving a bonus payment and
- The number of men and women in each of the four pay bands.
Your report will have to include a written statement confirming that the information is accurate. This must be signed by a director, partner or member of your organisation’s governing body.
As an employer you will also be expected to upload the information to a government website, where the intention is to create a publicly available league table or database.
There will be no legal obligation on you to publish any form of commentary on the figures or to set out any actions that it may be taking to address the gender pay gap. However, ministers have made clear that the Government will strongly encourage you to do so.
You should be particularly aware of the potential damage to your reputation, especially among potential future employees, of failing to set the data in context or to provide an explanation. Where you can report a gender pay gap that is narrower than that generally seen in the wider economy, and/or within its industry, this could enhance your organisation in the eyes of both job applicants and existing employees. However, you cannot assume that a job applicant will automatically be aware that your gender pay gap is better than average. This needs to be spelled out.
If your company’s gender pay gap is wider that the average, additional explanation will help to protect your reputation. Is the gap wide because of the industry in which you operate or the types of roles that exist within it? For example, women make up only 14.4% of all employees in science and technology occupations and represented just 15% of undergraduate entrants to engineering and technology courses in 2014/15. Employers with a large number of well-paid roles in these areas may struggle to recruit women to them.
Additionally, you may wish to use the opportunity to set out what you are doing to ensure that you recruit, develop, reward and promote women as well as men. This is particularly important if there are few mitigation factors to explain a wide pay gap within your organisation.
Need help with writing your first gender pay gap report? Get in touch to find out how we can help by contacting us on 0118 940 3032 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.