Schools will be aware that we are awaiting publication of the final version of Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2016. Draft regulations were attached to the consultation paper published earlier this year, which stated that the final version would be issued this summer, to come into force this October. It is now understood that the Regulations will be published somewhat later – perhaps this autumn – to come into force in April 2017.

However, the first date in respect of which a snapshot of the gender pay gap must be taken by employers with 250 or more employees is still expected to be 30 April 2017, after which affected employers will have a year to publish the relevant information. The delay in publication of the final version of the Regulations will probably not therefore result in any delay to the commencement of the gender pay gap reporting duty; it will, however, mean that employers have rather less time to analyse the wording of the Regulations before the duty commences.

The Government Equalities Office has stated that the government’s response to the consultation will be published “in due course”, and before the regulations themselves. It is hoped that the response will help clarify some current areas of uncertainty regarding the calculation of average hourly pay for certain classes of employee, for example those on maternity or sick leave and employees whose contractual hours differ from those actually worked.

We will update you further on publication of the response to the consultation, but in the meantime we suggest that schools which expect to have at least 250 employees as at 30 April 2017 continue to work on the basis that the gender pay gap reporting duty will commence then.