Gender pay gap

sex discrimination-gender pay gap

The Government has launched a consultation on gender pay gap reporting obligations:

The proposals are:

  • Employers with 250 or more employees will be required to publish information about the pay of their male and female employees.
  • This will include workers and apprentices; as well as employees.
  • It is not apparent from the consultation what the precise nature of the data to be provided will be.

The consultation is seeking the views from interested parties, such as employers, business leaders and trade unions, on the ways that the proposed new requirements would work in practice. Some other elements they are seeking views on are:

  • How the data should be presented.
  • How easy it would be for the employers to provide the analysis of pay data comparing the differences by gender using their existing payroll/HR/accounting systems;
  • The contextual narrative – e.g. where an employer might have an opportunity to explain the difference in pay between men and women.
  • How frequently the information should be provided (every year, two years etc.).
  • When the proposed changes should come into force.

There is no clear date when the changes will come into force as the government wishes to give employers an opportunity to prepare for them. There is some suggestion that there might be a phased introduction for employers with over 500 or more employees.

There is no indication at this stage what penalties might be imposed on the employer who fails to comply with the requirements. However, the proposals certainly give rise to the possibility of future litigation.

Employers who wish to respond to the consultation have until 6 September 2015 to do so.

In 2011, the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s research on ‘Gender Pay Gaps’ revealed that female employees working full-time in the UK in 2010 earned 84.5 per cent of the average (mean) hourly earnings of men (excluding overtime) who worked full-time. The EHRC concluded that full-time gender pay gap in hourly earnings was 15.5 per cent.

For further information or if you would like to discuss a sex discrimination or gender pay issue, then please get in touch with our employment solicitors on 0207 956 8699 or email