Gender pay gap reporting requirements

Advice and Guidance

Which countries is it relevant to?

    • Great Britain

      Great Britain

The gender pay gap is the difference in average pay between the men and women in your workforce.

It is different to equal pay, which means you must pay men and women the same for equal or similar work.

If you are an employer with 250 employees or more, you must now publish your gender pay gap data every year.

When did the requirements come into force?

From Friday 31 March 2017 for public bodies in England with 250 or more employees.

From Thursday 6 April 2017 for private and voluntary employers with 250 or more employees.

Scottish and Welsh public authorities are already subject to regulations that include gender pay gap reporting.

What do employers need to calculate and publish?

Employers need to publish six calculations showing:

  • mean gender pay gap in hourly pay
  • median gender pay gap in hourly pay
  • mean bonus gender pay gap
  • median bonus gender pay gap
  • proportion of males and females receiving a bonus payment
  • proportion of males and females in each pay quartile

Mean is the average hourly rate of pay, calculated by adding the hourly pay rate for employees then dividing by the number of employees.

Median is the middle hourly pay rate, when you arrange your pay rates in order from lowest to highest.

Acas and the Government Equalities Office (GEO) have published helpful and practical guidance on managing gender pay reporting.

Where do I publish my gender pay gap data?

You should publish this on your own website and through the government gender pay gap reporting website.

When do I have to publish the data?

By law, you must publish your gender pay gap data every year within 12 months of the relevant snapshot date.

For relevant public authorities covered under the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties and Public Authorities) Regulations 2017: within 12 months of 31 March.

For all other relevant private, voluntary and public sector employers covered under the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Managing Gender Pay Reporting Regulations 2017: within 12 months of 5 April.

Why do I have to report on gender pay gaps?

Reporting on pay gaps helps organisations understand the size and causes of their pay gaps and identify any issues that need to be addressed.

Having a gender pay gap doesn’t necessarily mean that unlawful discrimination is occurring. Publishing and monitoring pay gaps will help employers understand the reasons for any gap and consider whether they need to develop action plans to tackle the causes. For example, if women are predominantly at lower-paid levels in the organisation, the employer might want to develop a positive action programme to encourage and support women to apply for more senior roles. 

Continuing to publish and monitor the gender pay gap, in line with the regulations, will help employers monitor how effective their actions are in reducing it.

What happens if I don’t publish my gender pay gap report?

By law, you must publish your gender pay gap data every year. You need to do this within 12 months of the relevant snapshot date.

Reporting on pay gaps helps organisations understand the size and causes of their pay gaps and identify any issues that need to be addressed. Having a gender pay gap doesn’t necessarily mean that unlawful discrimination is occurring, but publishing and monitoring pay gaps will help employers understand the reasons for any gap and consider whether they need to develop action plans to tackle the causes.  For example, if women are predominantly at lower-paid levels in the organisation, the employer might want to develop a positive action programme to encourage and support women to apply for more senior roles.  We are publishing new research on gender, ethnicity and disability pay gaps alongside a strategy for tackling the causes of pay gaps that identifies actions for government, agencies and employers. We hope that employers will find this useful in understanding the possible causes of their pay gaps and what they need to do to address them.

Continuing to publish and monitor the gender pay gap in line with the regulations will help employers monitor the effectiveness of their actions in reducing the gap over time.

Where we receive evidence that companies are not publishing their gender pay gap data as required, we will take steps to address this.

How does the Commission monitor the gender pay gap?

Our research has found that there are still substantial pay gaps across Britain. In 2016 the gender pay gap stood at 18.1%.

We will, this year, publish a report that will help employers to look at possible causes of their pay gap and suggest actions they can take to reduce it. We will also make recommendations to government to help close the gender pay gap across Britain.

Further information

Read the Acas and GEO guidance on managing gender pay reporting.

Visit the government gender pay gap reporting website.

If you are involved in an employment dispute or are seeking information on employment rights and rules, you can visit the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) website or phone for advice.

Freephone: 0300 123 1100 (8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 1pm on Saturday)

Text relay service: 18001 0300 123 1100.

Last updated: 05 Jul 2017