Gender Pay Gap Reporting Regulations come into force on 6 April

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The Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 (the Regulations) come into force this Thursday, 6 April, making gender pay reporting mandatory for employers with 250 or more employees.

We have reported previously on what is required by the Regulations, and more detail on gender pay reporting, including how to do the various calculations, appears on our website here. Set out below is a summary of those reports relevant employers will have to publish on an annual basis.

Required gender pay information:

Overall gender pay gap based on mean hourly pay

Overall gender pay gap based on median hourly pay

Proportions of male and female employees in quartile hourly pay bands

Gender bonus gap based on mean bonus pay over 12 months

Gender bonus gap based on median bonus pay over 12 months

Proportions of male and female employees receiving bonuses over 12 months

The main gender pay reports are based on employees’ hourly rates of pay during the  relevant pay period including the 5 April ‘snapshot date’. The bonus pay reports are based on bonuses paid in the 12 months leading up to that date (i.e. period 6 April to 5 April). Reports must then be published within 12 months of the snapshot date.

This means that employers with 250+ employees as at this Wednesday 5 April will have until 4 April 2018 to publish their first gender pay reports. The calculations for the main gender pay reports will be based on the April 2017 snapshot pay period and, for the bonus reports, they will be based on the period 6 April 2016 to 5 April 2017.

Whilst employers still have 12 months until the publication deadline for first reports, many will choose to run the calculations and publish well before April 2018. If you are not running your calculations now, you need to be confident that, when you do come to run them, you will still be able to access all the relevant pay information for the April snapshot pay period and for the bonus year 2016-2017.

ACAS/GEO Guidance for employers

There is joint Guidance from ACAS and GEO (i.e. the Government Equalities Office) accompanying the Regulations. As well as encouraging voluntary action by employers to reduce gender pay inequality, the Guidance is intended to assist employers in understanding and complying with their gender pay reporting obligations. Given the complexities of the Regulations and some difficulties with interpretation, we think that employers will need to rely heavily on the Guidance.

We reported in January this year on the publication of the Guidance, and outlined certain areas where it seemed unclear and/or unfriendly to employers. Since then, EEF has been working hard making representations on behalf of our members to improve the Guidance. We are pleased ACAS/GEO have now issued revised Guidance (on 31 March) providing greater clarity in areas such as overtime, the definitions of ordinary and bonus pay and whether or not to include certain employees in the various calculations.

However, there are still some gaps in the Guidance and certain sections remain difficult to understand, such as how to treat ‘inpats’ (i.e. those employees sent to work in Great Britain by overseas employers) and how to calculate the hourly rate of pay for employees working variable hours.

ACAS/GEO have indicated that the Guidance will remain under review, and EEF will continue to feed back to them any concerns and suggestions for improvements. If you would like to have your say, please contact us.  

How EEF can help?

We have detailed guidance on the EEF website on how an employer should go about gender pay reporting, and we can of course advise you on the steps you should be taking and what approach you might want to take to any unresolved or difficult issues.

Our seminar series – “Gender Pay Reporting: How to comply” - will take you step by step through the gender pay reporting legal requirements. We will tell you what you need to do, when, and how best to do it. We will help ensure that your organisation is not only compliant but also shown in the best possible light.   Click here to book your place now.

In addition, EEF can support you on a consultancy basis according to your needs, whether that involves a full spectrum oversight of the reporting process and actions to respond to your gender pay information or targeting a specific area of concern, such as internal and external communication of gender pay results. For further information, please email HREnquire@eef.org.uk

Author

Principal Legal Adviser

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