Reporting on the gender pay gap

The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill (SBEE Bill), currently making its way through parliament, will place on obligation on large companies to report on the difference between the average pay received by their male employees and the average pay received by their female employee.

This type of reporting is currently a voluntary measure but legal amendments will make it compulsory. The Government has confirmed that 5 out of a possible 7000 companies have done it voluntarily so measures will be taken to force ‘large employers’ to do it.

Large employers, for these purposes, are those which have at least 250 employees. There are no details yet on how, when and how often the information would need to be published – we will need to wait for specific regulations to be issued for this, however, it is likely that figures will need to be published each year in a company’s annual reports. Other details to be confirmed are how an employer will calculate the number of employees he has.

Public authorities are excluded from this requirement, for example, the police, Care Quality Commission, Acas, Financial Conduct Authority and governing bodies of educational establishments maintained by local authorities.

Once the legislation is introduced, the Government has the power to create an offence for failure to provide the information required, which could result in a fine of not more than £5000.

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Nicola Mullineux

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