WHAT IS THE GENDER PAY GAP?
LUKE HUTCHINGS >
Employment Law PartnerThu 6 April 2017
The snappily titled Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 came into force this week, though the first reports are not due until April 2018.
The new rules will apply to employers that employ 250 staff or more, meaning that around 50% of the workforce will now come under scrutiny. The rules require that the relevant employers publish a report annually on the gap between what male employees earn and what female employees earn including basic salaries, as well as bonuses. The idea is to make transparent current differences and progress towards eliminating excess unjustified difference.
Commentators have already pointed out ambiguities in the wording of the regulations, for instance around overtime, but overall businesses seem resigned to taking on the additional administrative burden of this reporting in its stride. Many firms have expressed interest in seeing how they rank alongside competitors and can they can see merit in the proposals. The thought behind this is hopefully this will make for a more diverse and productive economy.
The Government conciliation service ACAS has published guidance on the reporting obligations which employers would do well to study. This can be found here: http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1811
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