Since the Equality Act 2010 came into force, the government has had the power to introduce regula -tions requiring employers to publish information about the difference in pay of male and female employees. To date, this has not been implemented, and gender pay gap reporting has only been done on a voluntary basis, although very few employers have published any such information. A change to the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill 2014-2015 (SBEEB) has very recently received royal assent, which means that compulsory gender pay gap reporting will now be introduced within the next 12 months, for companies with over 250 employees.
The practical impact of this change is yet to be determined, since the detailed regulation, which will set out the level of detail required in the reporting, has not been published. The Liberal Democrats suggest a minimum level of reporting will set out the gap for full-time and part-time workers and the overall gap, though the regulations could go further and require a comparison of average earnings for men and women, broken down by grade and job type. Regardless of the detail required, employers with more than 250 staff should start thinking about how their statistics will look and how information could be presented. Simply publishing the gap for full-time and part-time workers and the overall gap may not present an accurate picture of the true position, and adopting a more sophisticated approach could present the employer in a much better light.