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Consultation on Gender Pay Gap reporting enforcement plan published

21 December 2017

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (“the Commission”), has published its draft policy on how they plan to enforce the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017. Their draft policy sets out how they plan to use their powers should employers who are required to publish a Gender Pay Gap report not comply.

The consultation, which closes on 2 February 2018, has been published ahead of the first gender pay gap reports being due on 30 March 2018 for public sector employers and 4 April 2018 for private and voluntary sector employers.

The Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 and the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties and Public Authorities) Regulations 2017bound both public, private and voluntary sector employers with 250 employees or more, to publish a report detailing information in relation to their employee’s pay to establish any disparities between female and male employees.

The consultation sets out the enforcement process and principles which the Commission propose to adopt in relation to tackling non-compliance with gender pay gap reporting in the private and voluntary sectors, such as;

  • Raising awareness to ensure high levels of compliance and educating employers through information on their website
  • Publicising compliance rates
  • Promoting results of enforcement work to encourage other employers to comply
  • Informal resolution, including setting timeframes which they expect non-compliance to be resolved
  • Issuing unlawful act notice to employers if enforcement action must be taken (only in if employer fails to engage during the informal resolution stage of enforcement), which can be enforced through court orders, and set out;
    • Why enforcement action must be taken
    • What course of action will be taken
    • Next steps in the process
  • Summary convictions and unlimited fines issued to those who still refuse to comply with a court order

Similar enforcement powers exist in relation to public sector employers.

To see the full policy, click here.

To see the list of employers who have already submitted their report, click here.

Aspire Comment

Until this point, it was unclear as to how gender pay gap reporting was going to be enforced, with many thinking that employers would “self-police”. However, the determination to “close the gap” is evident with the draft policy published by the Commission and it is clear that the Commission plans to keep a close on non-compliance to ensure that employers are following their reporting requirements.

If you would like further information on the enforcement plans set out in the draft policy, or if you’re concerned about your obligations under the gender pay gap reporting, or meeting your deadline of 4 April 2018, please give Aspire a call to discuss how we can help.