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19 August 2016

Gender Pay Gap Reporting – consultation with the public sector begins

The long awaited consultation with public sector employers on gender pay gap reporting in the public sector began on the 18th August, and will close on the 30th September 2016.
You can find the consultation document here.

This consultation paper sets out:  

  • How the government intends to bring in the reporting requirements for public sector employers;
  • How the reporting requirements will work in the public sector; and
  • A number of questions on the proposed approach.
The consultation is primarily aimed at those public bodies which will be affected by the new reporting requirements and the consultation document provides information on which public bodies will be affected.

The government intends to amend the Specific Duties Regulations in England to include a mandatory requirement for public bodies that are subject to these regulations, with 250 or more employees, to undertake GPG reporting.

Although many public bodies may already be collating and publishing this information under the existing Specific Duties Regulations, introducing a mandatory requirement will ensure that GPG data will be available for all larger public sector employers. In line with the reporting regime that will apply to private and voluntary sector organisations, public bodies will be required to publish data on their mean and median gender pay gap, mean and median bonus pay gap, and information on the proportions of male and female employees in each salary quartile.

Mirroring the requirements that will apply to private and voluntary sector organisations will mean that all large employers will be using a consistent approach towards GPG data collection and calculation.

The government intends to introduce the amended regulations for the public sector by the end of 2016 and, if agreed by Parliament, commence them as soon as possible afterwards. Public bodies covered by the regulations will be expected to capture their first set of gender pay gap  data in April 2017 and publish the information before April 2018, in line with the requirements for private and voluntary sector.

The existing requirement in the Specific Duties Regulations to publish information relating to employees applies to bodies with 150 or more employees, and these bodies are already encouraged to include gender pay gap data in the information that they publish. The government intends to keep this reporting regime in place so that public authorities with 150 or more employees will still be required to report on the diversity of their workforce and consider whether to include data on gender pay differences in the information that they publish.

The mandatory gender pay gap reporting requirements will be added as an additional requirement for those bodies with 250 or more employees. Introducing the mandatory element of gender pay gap reporting to larger public sector employers will ensure consistency with the regulations which will apply to private and voluntary sector employers and build on existing transparency in the public sector.

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