Public sector gender pay reporting: regulations published

Public sector gender pay reporting: regulations published

Published:

Author: Antonia Blackwell

Applies to: England, Wales and Scotland

The final regulations for mandatory gender pay gap reporting in the public sector have now been published. We consider how these align with the private sector requirements and highlight the key differences for public authorities.

Context

The requirement to report on gender pay within the public sector arises out of the existing stringent public sector equality duties. The final form regulations are therefore included as schedule 1 to The Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties and Public Authorities) Regulations 2017 rather than being a stand-alone set of regulations as is the case within the private sector.

The requirements will apply to a relevant public authority in England (as well as specified cross border Welsh authorities and public authorities operating across Great Britain in relation to non-devolved functions), listed in schedule 2 of the regulations, which also have 250 or more employees on the snapshot date.

Relevant Scottish public authorities are already required to report on their gender pay gap (among other things) under the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) (Scotland) Regulations 2012. This duty now extends to relevant Scottish public authorities with 20 or more employees.

General requirements

The government previously indicated its intention that the gender pay gap reporting regimes within both the private and public sector should be aligned. This is, in the main, reflected in the final form regulations.

For example, both regimes:

  • require the same sets of information to be published 
  • provide for the same method of calculating the hourly rate of pay and weekly working hours 
  • include the same definitions for pay, pay period and bonus pay 
  • require the same approach to representing the pay quartile information 
  • do not require any accompanying narrative to be provided (although this is recommended) 
  • specify that the report is published annually

For more information on each of these areas please see our previous articles on the private sector requirements.

Gender pay gap reporting: final regulations published

Gender pay gap reporting: the time to consider your bonus payments is now

Gender pay gap reporting: what can employers do now

Key differences

There are, however, three important differences between the two regimes which public authorities need to take into account.

(1) The public sector regulations come into force on 31 March 2017 unlike the private sector regulations which come into force on 6 April 2017. The earlier date for public authorities is thought to better align with existing reporting obligations and practices.

(2) As a result of the different implementation date, the snapshot date for the public sector duty is 31 March each year and not 5 April as applies within the private sector. This means the public authorities will be required to publish their first gender pay gap reports by 30 March 2018 (before private employers who have until 4 April 2018 to publish their first reports).

(3) Although public authorities have the same requirement to publish the report on their website and on a government website, there is no requirement for the report to be accompanied by a signed statement from a senior individual within the organisation, as applies within the private sector requirements.

Next steps

As with private employers, now is the time for public authorities to start preparing for these new obligations. Our checklist of steps will apply equally to both sectors and is a good starting point for all employers.

Disclaimer

This document is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given.

About the author

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Antonia Blackwell

Legal Director

0370 086 4087

Antonia is an employment lawyer with over 14 years experience providing commercially focused advice to businesses and employment advice for individuals on all aspects of employment law, both contentious and non-contentious, including proactively managing employment tribunal claims and providing pragmatic employment law advice, as well as advising on discrimination & equal pay, redundancy & reorganisation, executive appointment & exits, union related matters and TUPE advice.

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