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Written by Anil Champaneri, HR Consultant

Although gender pay gap reporting has been in the news for some time, there has been some movement in recent weeks regarding the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2016 (the “Regulations”) which would be the regulations bringing the requirement to report into force.

Section 78 of the Equality Act 2010 (which came into force on 22 August 2016), is the provision enabling the Regulations to be made. The Regulations would require employers with 250 or more employees to publish information about the differences in pay between men an women.

The Government Equalities Office (“GEO”) has confirmed that the timescale for the publication of the final Regulations has slipped.

The GEO said that the response to the consultation for private, voluntary and charity sectors (which ended on 11 March 2016) on the draft Regulations would be published “in due course”. However, it is understood that the final Regulations will not be included with the consultation response.

It was originally expected that the final Regulations would be published this summer and come into force on 1 October 2016. The GEO now envisages that the Regulations will be laid before Parliament in the autumn and will commence in April 2017. If this is the case, it is likely that the first “relevant date” (this is the date on which a snapshot is taken of pay data for the preceding pay period) under the Regulations would still remain as 30 April 2017 (as previously announced) meaning that the first gender pay gap reports will be due by the end of April 2018.

The delay in publishing the final version of the Regulations will naturally mean that employers will have less time to understand their obligations under the Regulations so not an ideal situation. .

If the Government sticks to its plans, employers will not need to publish pay gap information until April 2018. However, this pay information will need to be based on data from a specific pay period every April, beginning in April 2017, and the bonus information will need to be based on the preceding 12 month period.

The Government is extending the gender pay gap reporting obligation to public sector employers (again who have 250 or more employees) as well and that consultation started on 18 August 2016 and will run to 30 September 2016. The plan is to bring in regulations in the public sector at the same time as the private, voluntary and charity sectors.

Please note this article is for information only and does not constitute advice. To ensure you follow best practice (and, if applicable, do not compromise your insurance), you should contact the Alcumus HR Consultancy team before embarking on any of the views given above.