Gender Pay Gap Reporting: Consultation Launched
The Government is seeking views on how it should implement its commitment to require larger private and voluntary sector employers to publish gender pay gap information. The Government hopes that requiring employers to report on their pay gap will help to close the gap.
The new laws will apply to employers in the private and voluntary sectors with at least 250 employees, which will include anyone employed under an employment contract, a contract of apprenticeship or a contract personally to do work. However, it seeks views on whether the 250 employee threshold is appropriate, suggesting that it may apply a higher a threshold (it cannot apply a lower one).
The Government is considering how employers should calculate the gender pay gap. It does not ask employers which method they prefer but asks which of the following employers are able to calculate from existing data and systems:
- An overall figure calculating the difference between the earnings of men and women as a percentage of men’s earnings;
- Figures broken down by full-time and part-time employees;
- Figures broken down by grade or job type; or
- None of the above.
The Government recognises that employers may wish to give additional narrative to provide context to the published figures and asks whether employers should be required to provide contextual information or whether this should be optional.
It also seeks views on how frequently gender pay gap information should be reported (with options ranging from annually to once every three years), where the information should be published (for example a prominent place or the company’s website) and the cost of conducting the pay analysis and publishing relevant information.
The Government expects the Regulations to be made during the first half of 2016 but proposes to delay their commencement "for an appropriate period" to give businesses an opportunity to prepare for implementation. It is also considering a phased introduction, with larger employers (those with at least 500 employees) being required to comply first.
Employers wishing to reply to the “Closing the Gender Pay Gap” consultation must do so by 6 September 2015.
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