Closing the Gender Pay Gap

Companies with 250 or more employees will be required to publish gender pay gap information – a Government consultation aims at gathering feedback on how this should be done.

19 July 2015

As you may have seen in the news, the Government has announced that they intend to legislate under the Equality Act 2010 to require certain companies to publish gender pay gap information.  A consultation paper titled ‘Closing the Gender Pay Gap’ has been published, setting out new regulations that will require private and voluntary sector companies employing 250 or more people to publish information about the pay of their male and female employees.  

The Government is seeking feedback as to the manner in which such information should be published.  Under discussion is whether the required information should be the overall difference between average earnings of men and women as a percentage of men's earnings, or whether it should be broken down by full-time and part-time employees, or by grade or job type, as well as whether or not businesses would have to provide an explanation for any pay gap.

The level of information employers need to disclose will be key to the success of the new rules – if this is pitched at too high a level it may be less meaningful, but if organisations are required to drill down to the level of employee grades or teams, this could be administratively burdensome and could potentially enable employees to work out what individual colleagues are paid which raises privacy concerns.

The consultation period ends on the 6th September 2015, and the new regulations will be introduced next year.