Today, the UK mandatory gender pay reporting regime will come
into force under the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap
Information) Regulations 2017 (the "Regulations").
The UK has had a voluntary gender pay gap reporting regime since
2015, but this has largely been viewed as unsuccessful, with only
around seven employers publishing data about their gender pay gap.
Under the mandatory regime, large employers will need to publish
(on their website and a designated UK government website) annual
reports containing detailed data on their gender pay gap. The data
must be kept available on the website for at least three years.
Affected employers must act now in order to
capture data for relevant employees as at April 5, 2017, for the
first report, which must be made public by April 4, 2018. Although
the final draft of the Regulations was only recently published,
many large employers have been preparing for the regime for many
Who is affected?
The Regulations apply to employers with 250 or more
employees who work in or have a sufficiently close connection
with the UK. Employees who are on secondment outside the UK
could count towards the threshold, as could employees on
international assignment to the UK. Other categories of
employees based outside the UK but with a connection to the
jurisdiction (e.g., a home in the UK) could also count; the UK law
in this area is complex, and, if in doubt, employers should seek
legal advice. Other types of "worker," such as
contractors, LLP members and non-executive directors, could also
The 250 threshold applies per employing entity, rather than on a
consolidated, group‑wide basis. Therefore, if you have
separate employing entities, each with fewer than 250 employees,
the reporting requirement does not apply.
What information must be published – a reminder
Information as at a "snapshot" date of April 5, 2017,
needs to be collated in order to publish the following categories
of information for relevant employees:
mean and median gender pay gap;
mean and median bonus gender pay gap (by reference to
bonuses paid in respect of the previous 12 months);
proportion of males receiving a bonus payment;
proportion of females receiving a bonus payment; and
proportion of males and females in each quartile pay band.
The elements of "pay" to be included and how hourly
rates of pay are to be calculated are complex. HR, payroll and
legal advice should be sought as necessary. Employers are
encouraged to provide a narrative explaining any gender pay gap
identified and actions taken to try to close the gap. A written
statement must be included in the report to confirm the accuracy of
the calculations and be authorized by a senior manager.
Sanctions for failure to comply
It is unlawful for employers who are subject to the regime not
to comply. However, no specific sanctions are imposed by the
Regulations. There is a reputational risk for organizations who do
not publish data, and adverse inferences may be drawn in
discrimination or equal pay claims, or indeed by job applicants. It
is possible that the UK government might amend the Regulations in
the future to impose sanctions (e.g. if a number of employers fail
Employers, employees and job applicants await the first reports,
which will be published this time next year, if not before. It is
fair to assume that Claimant law firms might also take a keen
interest in the reports, with a view to scoping out potential equal
pay claims where a large gap is reported.
The UK government has not at this stage announced any plans to
extend the Regulations to mid-sized employers, but the Regulations
will be reviewed over the next five years, so smaller employers
should watch this space.
Official guidance on the Regulations is available here.
Because of the generality of this update, the information
provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should
not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular
The Court of Appeal has held that where a contract of employment lacks a provision for when notice of termination takes effect, it is effective from when the employee personally takes delivery of the letter containing notice.
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