Published: 26 Mar 2018
Employers with over 250 members of staff are entering the ‘last chance saloon’ to report their gender pay gap, the Equality and Human Rights Commission has warned today as it publishes its final strategy on how the new regulations will be enforced.
Detailing the different stages of legal action that all non-compliant employers will face after the deadlines pass (30 March for public sector organisations and 4 April for businesses and charities), the strategy explains enforcement action will start when the Commission writes to all employers who have not complied with the law.
The letters will be sent on 9 April and employers will be given 28 days to comply before an investigation takes place and an unlawful act notice is issued. Failure to comply with the regulations will ultimately lead to an unlimited fine decided by the courts.
Rebecca Hilsenrath, Chief Executive of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said:
'Employers with 250 or more staff still have time to report their gender pay gap. The clock is ticking and with just 10 days to go, those who haven’t reported really are entering the last chance saloon. This is not optional; it is the law and we will be fully enforcing against all companies that do not report.
'This legislation is in place to bring about better gender equality in the workplace and any employer not complying needs to ask themselves tough questions, re-think their priorities, be prepared for serious reputational damage, and be ready to face a very unhappy workforce.'
Jemima Olchawski, Head of Policy and Insight at the Fawcett Society, said:
'The gender pay gap represents a productivity gap. It's bad for women who lose out on potential earnings and career opportunities but also bad for businesses who are failing to properly recruit, promote and reward women. Pay gap reporting is an opportunity to look at the data, understand the cause and nature of the gap in an organisation and develop a plan to close it. McKinsey estimate that the UK could add £150 billion to GDP if we improve performance on gender balance in the workplace- so employers really can't afford not to act.'
Notes to editors
The Equality and Human Rights Commission is the regulatory body responsible for ensuring that all employers with over 250 employees report their gender pay gap statistics.
All private and voluntary sector employers with 250 or more employees in England, Wales and Scotland must publish information on their gender pay gap under the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017.
All listed public sector employers with 250 or more employees must publish the same information under the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties and Public Authorities) Regulations 2017. Scottish and Welsh public authorities are subject to additional regulations that include gender pay gap reporting.
Public sector employers must publish the required information by 30 March 2018. Private and voluntary sector employers must report the required pay gap information by 4 April 2018. This is the first year of gender pay gap reporting and is now an annual requirement by the same dates.
Current figures calculate the gender pay gap at 18.4 per cent.