The Government Equalities Office has confirmed that the implementation of the new gender pay gap reporting legislation has been delayed until April 2017. The Government's response to the consultation of the draft version of the regulations is expected shortly and should provide details of the final proposals which will be enacted.

In February 2016 the Government published its second consultation on the forthcoming gender pay gap reporting regime, together a draft of the regulations.

The original intention was that the Government would respond to this consultation and lay the final draft of the regulations before Parliament sometime before the Summer recess. The regulations were intended to come into force on 1 October 2016 (with the first pay snapshot to be taken on 30 April 2017 and public reporting by 30 April 2018).

The Government Equalities Office has confirmed that the regulations have been slightly delayed and will now be laid before Parliament sometime in "Autumn". The intention is that they will come into force by April 2017. It is not yet clear whether this delay means that the initial pay snapshot date (30 April 2017) and first reporting date (by no later than 30 April 2018) will also be pushed back. In theory, these dates could be preserved.

The Government intends to publish its response to the consultation on the draft regulations ahead of the final version of the regulations. Given that the regulations are to be laid in Autumn (i.e. between September and November 2016), we can expect the response fairly shortly. The response should provide the detail of the final proposals that the legislation will take forward and assist employers with their preparations for the new regime. We will be publishing our employer's guide to the new regime once the regulations are finalised.

Separately, it's worth noting that the Institute for Fiscal Studies published a briefing paper on the gender pay gap earlier this month. The paper highlights that the difference between men and women's hourly wages remains substantial (at 18%) despite some narrowing over the last decade. The paper also highlights that the gender pay gap widens significantly from the late 20s and early 30s and the pay gap is heightened after the arrival of children.