Gender pay gap reporting duty

In February, the Government published further details of its proposal to require larger employers to publish details of their gender pay gap ie the difference in pay between male and female employees.

The new regime will apply to British employers in the private and voluntary sectors with at least 250 UK based employees and the first gender pay reports will have to be published no later than 30 April 2018. Employers will have to report annually:

  • the ‘mean gender pay gap’ and the ‘median gender pay gap’ for their organisation;
  • the ‘gender bonus gap’ for their organisation; and
  • the number of men and women working across salary quartiles.

Employers will need to publish their pay data information on a searchable UK website that is accessible to employees and the public. The information will have to be signed by a director, or equivalent, to confirm that it is accurate. For further information, read our briefing.

Modern slavery reporting duty now in force

The first annual slavery and trafficking statements under the Modern Slavery Act are due for qualifying businesses with financial year-ends on or after 31 March 2016. The Act requires certain businesses to disclose what activities they are undertaking to eliminate slavery and trafficking from their businesses and supply chains, or state that they have taken no such steps.

The new reporting duty applies to companies and partnerships supplying goods or services (wherever incorporated or formed) with global turnovers of £36 million and above, providing they carry on business in the UK. The annual slavery and trafficking statement must be signed a director and approved by the board (or equivalent for partnerships) and made accessible on its homepage. The Government expects that publication will take place within six months of the financial year-end. For further information, read our briefing.

Significant changes to industrial action law finalised

The new Trade Union Act changes the law on industrial action, including balloting and picketing arrangements. It will also affect how public sector employers manage union facility time and check-off arrangements and changes the role and power of the Certification Officer (a form of regulator for trade unions). For further information, read our briefing.

New national living wage implemented

The statutory national minimum wage for workers aged 25 and above increased to £7.20 on 1 April. Many employers remain concerned about how they will absorb such a large increase in wage costs, particularly as the Government intends to make further significant increases in the rate over the next four years. See briefing.

NB. This update covers England, Wales and Scotland. It does not cover developments that apply only in Northern Ireland.