Government publishes draft regulations for public sector gender pay gap reporting

government whitehall 430

The government has published draft regulations on mandatory gender pay gap reporting for public sector organisations with 250 or more employees.

The draft regulations detail the information that public sector employers will have to publish as well as the required date and manner of publication. These are designed to mirror the regulations that will come into force for the private and voluntary sectors from April 2017, stating that public authorities with at least 250 employees will have to publish: the difference between the mean and median hourly rate of pay for male and female employees who are on full pay; the difference between the mean and median bonuses paid to male and female employees over a 12-month period ending with the snapshot date; the proportion of male and female employees who were paid bonuses during the 12 months ending with the snapshot date; and the proportion of male and female employees in each quartile of the pay distribution.

The snapshot date for capturing the pay information required for the calculations for the public sector has been set at 31 March to correspond with deadlines for other reporting commitments. The deadline for publishing gender pay gap information, therefore, will be the following 30 March, because the publication date must fall within 12 months of the data capture.

This snapshot date differs from that in the private and voluntary sectors, which is set at 5 April.

Public sector organisations with 150 or more staff will still have to adhere to the Specific Duties Regulations, which includes the Public Sector Equality Duty. This requires organisations to publish diversity information on their workforce. Public authorities will be strongly encouraged to include data on gender pay differences in the information they publish. Public sector organisations with less than 150 employees will also be encouraged to calculate and publish gender pay gap data on a voluntary basis.

The government is currently developing an online portal, onto which it is envisaged public sector employers will upload their gender pay gap data. This will ensure that the data for all large employers is held in a single place. The government will make further details of the compliance portal available before it becomes operational in Spring 2017.

Unlike employers in the private and voluntary sectors, public sector employers will not need a senior official to sign a statement to authenticate an organisation’s gender pay gap data. It will also not be compulsory for employers to publish a corresponding narrative alongside their data, although organisations may want to do this on a voluntary basis.

Justine Greening MP, secretary of state for education and minister for women and equalities, said: ‚ÄúTackling the gender pay gap is an absolute priority for this government. That is why we are delivering on our manifesto commitment to introduce mandatory gender pay gap reporting for larger private and voluntary sector organisations and why we extended this commitment to the public sector. We are introducing landmark regulations to provide transparency across major employers in all sectors and create the environment needed to drive change.‚ÄĚ