From April 2017 onwards, all organisations with a headcount of 250 or more must publish annual figures about its gender pay gap.

The 'gender pay gap' is the difference between the average earnings (including bonuses) of men and women, expressed relative to men's earnings.

The Lowdown

  • Employers in the private and voluntary sector must base its pay data on staff employed on a 'snapshot date' of 5 April each year, starting from April 2017.
  • Organisations in the public sector must use 31 March as its snapshot date.
  • Workers and some self-employed people are included in the definition of "Employees".
  • Reporting on gender pay is a different requirement from carrying out an equal pay audit.
  • There are six calculations you have to carry out, including mean and medium averages relating to pay and bonuses, the proportion of males receiving bonus payments vs females, and the proportion of males vs females when divided into four groups ordered from lowest to highest pay.
  • The results must be published on the employer's website and a particular Government Website within 12 months.
  • A director (or equivalent) must sign the declaration of accuracy before approving a gender pay gap report.
  • Crucially, employers have the option to provide a narrative with its calculations. You can use this to explain the challenges, successes and any plans for long-term results.
  • There are currently no penalties for non-compliance but the Government is keeping this under review. However, the negative publicity from industry press, competitors and potential recruits for failure to publish is likely to be extremely damaging. For this reason, businesses of all sizes might consider publishing its results too.