It would seem highly likely that the Government intends to press ahead with the gender pay gap reporting obligations. A commencement order has been published that brings s.78 of the Equality Act 2010 into force on 22 August 2016.
This is the provision enabling Regulations to be made requiring employers with more than 250 employees to publish information about the differences in pay between men and women.
A final version of the gender pay gap reporting Regulations is however yet to be published, despite the consultation on the new Regulations stating they would come into force on 1 October 2016, requiring employers to publish reports from April 2018.
It would seem that the Regulations may not come into force until April 2017, and the final version of the Regulations may be published later than expected in 2016.
The effect on employers is that the delay in publishing the final version means that employers will have less time to get to grips with their obligations.
There is also likely to be a considerable amount of change in the specific requirements as currently drafted.
Assuming the Government sticks to its plans, employers will not need to publish pay gap information until April 2018.
It is important to note however that this pay information will need to be based on data from a specific pay period every April, beginning in April 2017, and the bonus information will need to be based on the preceding 12-month period.
It is understood that the Government plans to extend the requirement to publish gender pay gap information to public-sector employers within the same time frame.
The Regulations currently have no enforcement provisions, however it’s believed that employers will take them seriously because they realise the potential consequences of grievances and employment claims if they fail to comply.
Farleys employment law team are specialists in employment law and HR advice for employers. We can provide bespoke commercial employment law and HR advice and support to employers on a wide range of matters including gender pay gap reporting. For further information call 0845 287 0939, alternatively please complete an online enquiry form.