On 6 December 2016, the Government published the final draft of the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 (GPG Regulations). Subject to parliamentary approval, the GPG Regulations are set to come into force on 6 April 2017.

Who is covered?

The GPG Regulations will apply to any:

  • "Relevant employer" - a private or voluntary sector employer with 250 or more employees on the "relevant snapshot date"; and
  • "Relevant employees" - a person who is employed by the employer on the "relevant snapshot date".

The "relevant snapshot date" is 5 April of the relevant year.

According to the GPG Regulations, only "full pay relevant employees" are taken into account on the snapshot date. This is a relevant employee who is not, during the relevant pay period, being paid at a reduced rate or nil as a result of the employee being on leave.

Additionally, Partners and LLP members are excluded from the pay reporting obligation.

Pay

The definition of "ordinary pay" has been overhauled and an exhaustive description produced:

  • Basic pay
  • Allowances (not out-of-pocket expenses)
  • Pay for piecework
  • Pay for leave (only if fully paid leave otherwise excluded)
  • Shift premium pay

The GPG reporting is based on the "hourly rate of pay" which includes ordinary pay and bonus pay. However, bonus pay does not include overtime pay or remuneration referable to redundancy or termination.

What must an employer publish?

  • Median and mean gender pay gap figures for pay, based on the hourly pay of "full pay relevant employees" during the relevant pay period.
  • Median and mean gender pay gap figures for bonuses paid in the year ending with the snapshot date.
  • The percentage of men and the percentage of women who received a bonus.
  • The number of men and the number of women in each pay quartile.

The data must be accompanied by a written statement of accuracy, signed by a director or partner and published on the employer's website for at least three years.

The first GPG reports will be due by 4 April 2018.

Enforcement

The regulations provide no clear enforcement mechanism or penalty for failure to publish the data. However, the Explanatory Memorandum suggests that the Equality and Human Rights Commission may take enforcement action under existing powers.