If your organisation employs over 250 employees in the UK then,
from April 2017, it will need to publish on its UK website and a
government sponsored website, certain information which is intended
to highlight whether or not it pays men and women equally. Those
employers will then have to report annually on gender pay
differences going forwards.
There are no particular financial penalties for non-compliance
but the reputational risk of not doing so (or doing so badly) is
If your organisation is likely to be caught, now is the time to
take action. Getting ahead of the game by conducting an early audit
will ensure that your organisation is in the best possible position
to start ironing out any potential problems. To find out more about
what you should be doing, why not come along to one of our
workshops, details of which are set out below.
Why has the government acted now?
The Equal Pay Act 1970 required men and women to be paid
equally, but in the 46 years since then, the issue of women being
consistently being paid less than men has not gone away. Glassdoor
Economic Researchers ranked Britain 11th out of 18 countries (below
the USA, France, Spain and Sweden) in a league table that took into
account pay, board level representation and the gap between male
and female employment, among other factors.
To resolve this issue, some have suggested radical measures such
as a 'Gender Pay Gap Tax' whereas others have sought ways
to increase female participation in job sectors which are both seen
as more traditionally male and which tend to attract higher wages,
such as financial services, engineering and IT.
The new Gender Pay regulations address the issue head on in
What needs to be reported and where?
To find out what information you will need to provide and how to
calculate it, read our earlier alert
Remember, employers will also need to report the numbers of men
and women in each salary quartile, revealing pay gaps linked to
The gender pay report must be signed off by a director or
equivalent and then published on the organisation's UK website,
in a manner that is accessible to the public. The information must
also be uploaded to a government sponsored website, which will act
like a gender pay league table so that comparison between
competitors is inevitable and companies will be 'named and
shamed' by the press and organisations dealing with the
protection of workers' rights.
In addition, the new gender pay regulations have generated some
concern that they could lead to the type of equal pay claims seen
predominantly only in the public sector over the last few
Getting ahead of the game
We were hoping that the final version Gender Pay regulations
would have been published but the Brexit debate has meant that
other Government business has taken a back seat.
There are still steps however that organisations can take now,
to ensure that the data that they have to publish in 2018 presents
the organisation in the best light, including conducting an audit
after taking legal advice, to ensure that the results are subject
to legal privilege.
A number of organisations have tested the audit process already
and found that the results were not entirely publicity friendly.
Forewarned is forearmed and by starting to consider compliance
early, organisations can begin to review how they recruit, promote
and reward their staff with a view to identifying and then ironing
out any gender based barriers which might hamper success.
Don't get caught out: identifying problem areas now also
allows employers to consider what additional information they might
publish, over and above that required by the new regulations, to
tell a positive story about the way in which the organisation
values its workforce.
After the success of our annual workplace law Spring Symposium,
we are re-running our gender pay reporting workshop which will
explain further what business need to be doing. We are running the
seminar on Wednesday 29 June 8.30am.
In SSE Generation Limited v Hochtief Solutions AG and another decided on 21st December 2016, the Court of Session in Scotland considered a contractor's potential design liability under the NEC Form of Contract.
Case law concerning the Agency Worker Regulations remains limited. We recently advised a recruitment business involved in a dispute with a "temp" and a hirer regarding who was liable for an alleged breach of AWR Regulation 5.
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