On 12 February, the Government Equalities Office published a consultation paper on its proposals requiring organisations with 250 or more employees to publish data about pay by gender.

The draft regulations call for large employers to publish both mean and median figures for the gender pay gap amongst their employees. There will be no requirement to break this down by role, to distinguish between part-time and full-time staff, or to explain what, if anything, is being done to close any gap which may be apparent (although the government’s response to the consultation says that a narrative showing what steps are being taken is to be strongly encouraged).

The figures will be published on a searchable public website and must include bonuses, but not overtime, and indicate the percentage of men and women who feature in each salary quartile.

The regulations were supposed to come into force in March but will now not do so until October 2016, with the first transitional data “snapshot” to be published in April 2017 and full reporting from April 2018. There will not be civil penalties for non-compliance, but the government will keep this under review.

The consultation closes on 12 March. An article analysing the proposals and their impact in greater detail will be in next month’s Law at Work.