We welcome the government’s decision to introduce gender pay gap reporting requirements on public sector employers. Our report Is Britain Fairer? highlighted that, despite a reduction in the gender pay gap between 2008 and 2013, this was partly due to a decline in the average pay for men, and the average hourly pay of women remains significantly lower than that of men. While pay gaps are lower in the public sector than the private sector, the public sector gender pay gap is widening. Recent ONS data in the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, shows that the full-time gender pay gap in the public sector rose from 9.5% in 2013 to 11.4% in 2015. This new requirement on the public sector for transparency on pay gaps may help to halt this trend.
The Commission is the regulator for the Public Sector Equality Duty, promoting its effective implementation and compliance and undertaking strategic enforcement activity across the three nations of Great Britain to ensure it is an effective lever to tackle persistent disadvantage. We work with government departments and public bodies to encourage them to shape policies and develop targeted initiatives, desired outcomes and objectives to address the key equality challenges identified in ‘Is Britain Fairer?’. The Commission has the advantage of working in England, Scotland and Wales where different approaches to public service changes and the public sector equality duty offer us the chance to look at different solutions and initiatives and see what works best.
Section 153 of the Equality Act 2010 imposes a requirement on Ministers to consult the Commission before making regulations imposing specific duties on public bodies to enable better performance of the Public Sector Equality Duty. This document is our response to that consultation.
Last updated: 18 Oct 2016