Today the Government has published draft gender pay gap reporting regulations for consultation. These regulations are due to come into force on 1 October 2016.

They will apply to private and voluntary sector employers with at least 250 “relevant employees” (those ordinarily working in Great Britain and whose contracts are governed by UK legislation). Mandatory reporting will also be extended to the public sector and there will be further consultation on how this will work in practice.

Under the regulations, employers must take their first snapshot of data on 30 April 2017 and publish their figures by April 2018, to be reported annually after that. Employers must publish their mean and median gender pay gaps as well as the number of men and women within each quartile of pay distribution. Additionally, employers must publish information relating to the gender bonus gap.

The report must be published on the employer’s website every year and employers must also upload it to a government-sponsored website. A written statement confirming the accuracy of the information will be required.

To support the Government’s strategy to tackle the pay gap, £500,000 is being promised to help employers implement the regulations for male-dominated sectors such as science, technology, engineering and maths.

This is a very significant development for employment law and will have a substantial effect on larger employers. They should start to consider their pay structures and what systems they need to have in place to analyse pay. Supporting guidance to help employers implement the regulations will be published later this year.