Only about 600 employers have submitted their gender pay gap data to the government website as of 17 January 2018, out of a reported number of approximately 9,000 in-scope employers. The deadline for submission is 4 April 2018. The government and regulators are stepping up efforts to encourage employers to report their data and commit to an action plan, with the government recently indicating that it will publish a list of companies who have not yet reported or registered for reporting on the government website. Meanwhile, the media continue to analyse reports published so far and some companies have been criticised for reporting "improbable" figures.
Details of employers who have not reported or registered to be publishe
Before submitting their data for publication, employers must first register on the government's online reporting service. We have seen a letter from the Government Equalities Office to employers who have not yet registered reminding them to do so. The letter states that, in early 2018, the government intends to publish a list of employers who have submitted their figures, a list of those who have demonstrated that they are on track by registering and a list of those who have taken no action (i.e. not registered). Although there is no legal requirement to register at this stage, employers may wish to do so ahead of the publication of any such lists so that they appear on the "on track" list. Employers do not need to submit their data in order to register. The data itself can be submitted at a later date (but before the deadline of 4 April 2018).
Action against non-compliant employers
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has published (for consultation in the first instance) their proposals for enforcing compliance with the gender pay gap reporting requirements. There is some uncertainty over whether the EHRC can lawfully use its statutory enforcement powers in relation to gender pay gap reporting, but both the government and the EHRC believe that they can do so.
The EHRC's proposals for enforcement state that they intend to focus their enforcement work in 2018/19 on employers who do not publish any data, but that, if they have the capacity to do so, they may also take action against employers for publication of inaccurate data, if they consider that it is necessary, proportionate and feasible to do so.
FT analysis into gender pay gap data submitted by employers
The FT has reported that a number of companies have reported statistically implausible figures on the government website. At least one such company has apparently altered its data in response to an approach by the FT. For more details see the FT article here (subscription required).
New toolkit for employers
The Government Equalities Office and CIPD have published a brief toolkit which summarises some of the steps employers could consider to help narrow the gap. Whilst not identifying any particularly new or innovative steps, the toolkit recommends picking three priority actions and having the senior leadership team commit to these.