“Mind the gap”

According to the National Office of Statistics, women on average still earn 19.1 per cent less than men. The Government has decided that the current voluntary duty to report gender pay gaps must now become obligatory in order to rid UK businesses of the inequality in pay.

The Government has confirmed that it intends to legislate by mid-2016 to require all private and voluntary sector employers in England, Scotland and Wales with at least 250 employees to publish the gap between average female and male earnings. The legislation will not require employers to act on the data they publish and they will not be required to undertake equal pay audits.

However, the intention behind the compulsory publication of pay gap information is to encourage employers to recognise that there is a pay gap and consider how to eliminate it. It will provide an opportunity for employers to consider other factors behind the pay gap such as motherhood, caring responsibilities and promotion.

Although the legislation itself will not require employers to take action, employees armed with information from their employer that confirms that there is a gender pay gap will perhaps be more likely to pursue equal pay claims.

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This information is intended as a general discussion surrounding the topics covered and is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. DWF is not responsible for any activity undertaken based on this information.


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Andrew Chamberlain

Partner - Head of Employment & Chair of the SDE

I am a Partner, the National Head of the Employment Team and the Chair of the Service Delivery Executive (SDE), which is focused on building better solutions for clients.