On the 18th August 2016 the government issued a consultation on how they intend to roll out new mandatory equality reporting to larger public sector employers in England (arrangements for Wales and Scotland are devolved). This consultation closes on 30th September 2016.
Interestingly this coincides with new research from the Institute of Fiscal Studies which shows that women, on average earn, 18% less than men with the gap increasing after women have children.
The consultation sets out how the planned new rules will cover public sector employers in England with 250+ employees. It basically mirrors those set out in an earlier consultation covering the private and voluntary sectors which are due to come into force October 2016, with the first reports due before 30th April 2018. The public sector rules are due to be implemented in early 2017, with first reports due no later than the 4th April 2018.
Public sector employers will have to report on:
- The proportion of men and women by salary quartiles
- The mean and median gap between men and women
- The proportion of men and women who received a bonus in the previous 12-months
- The mean and median bonus gap
With comparisons being able to be drawn between the two sectors, there lies a risk of potential equal pay claims.
EMA’s advice to our clients is simple, be proactive and act now before mandatory reporting begins. Complete equal pay audits to identify any gender pay gaps and investigate the nature of any differences and examine the extent to which these can be objectively justified, are they due to factors other than membership of a particular equality group?
EMA is able to offer tailored ‘Equal Pay Health Checks” for their clients to help them meet their needs in this area.
Lorna Lee, Consultant at EMA