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Equality and Pay: Are you on top of your reporting requirements?

Earlier this week it was reported that around half of organisations are yet to publish their 2021/22 gender pay gap data.

The deadlines for the current reporting year are almost upon us (4 April 2022 for private and voluntary sector employers).  It is clearly important that employers understand and comply with their reporting obligations not least because, as the Equality and Human Rights Commission (“EHRC”) states, “gender pay gap reporting helps employers to identify and remove barriers to women’s progression at work which drives profits, productivity and economic growth”.

What is the gender pay gap?

The gender pay gap is the difference in average pay between the men and women within your organisation.  It is different to equal pay, which means you must pay men and women the same for equal or similar work.

Employers in the private or voluntary sectors with 250+ employees must publish their gender pay gap data every year.  This rule also applies to specified public-sector employers.

What are the deadlines?

Gender pay gap calculations are based on employer payroll data from a specific date each year, known as the “snapshot date”.  Employers must publish their data annually within 12 months of the relevant snapshot date:

— Private and voluntary sector employers have a snapshot date of 5 April each year and must publish their gender pay gap information by 4 April of the following year.

— Specified public-sector employers have a snapshot date of 31 March each year and must publish their gender pay gap information by 30 March of the following year.

What are the sanctions for non-compliance?

Whilst there are no express sanctions contained in the gender pay gap legislation itself, the EHRC can take enforcement action against employers that do not comply with the requirements, including carrying out investigations into “unlawful acts” and issuing unlawful act notices containing recommendations and a requirement that the law is complied with.

Equality issues and other reporting requirements

On 17 March 2022, the government published its policy paper “Inclusive Britain: government response to the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities”.  Among a range of other actions on tackling issues relating to race and ethnic disparity, this response states in relation to ethnicity pay reporting “we want to avoid imposing new reporting burdens on businesses as they recover from the pandemic and so we will not be legislating for mandatory reporting at this stage”.

Ethnicity pay reporting will therefore be voluntary for now.  New guidance will be published in summer 2022 to help employers address specific challenges with this type of reporting, including employee confidentiality, the use of broad ethnic categories versus specific ethnic groups and reporting across demographically different areas.

Employers that choose to publish their figures will be required to publish a “diagnosis and action plan”, setting out reasons why disparities exist and what will be done to address them.  Case studies from employers which have already chosen to report their ethnicity pay will set a benchmark for what a good action plan might cover.

The policy paper makes no commitments on further legislation if voluntary reporting does not work, it simply states that “we would expect [employers] to take meaningful action to identify and then tackle the causes of disparate pay” once employers have a consistent standard for reporting.

This update is for general purposes and guidance only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. You should seek legal advice before relying on its content. This update relates to the prevailing circumstances at the date of its original publication and may not have been updated to reflect subsequent developments. If you have general queries about our updates, please email: mailinglists@greenwoods.co.uk




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      By completing and submitting this form, you consent to Greenwoods Legal LLP processing your personal data to provide you with the email update services you have selected and any other materials and information about our services that Greenwoods Legal LLP reasonably believes will be of interest to you. You are free to withdraw your consent at any time by emailing mailinglists@greenwoods.co.uk