From March this year, organisations with 250 or more employees have been charged with reporting and publishing data concerning any gender pay gap within their organisation. Employers must not only report their data to the government online but also publish the data on their website. Organisations of fewer than 250 employees are not yet compelled to do this, but it is likely only a matter of time before reporting becomes compulsory for most employers. Ensuring payroll and/or HR departments can access the data in order to meet the reporting requirements would be a sensible move.
The data that employers are required to report is the mean and median gender pay gap, plus the gender pay gap for bonuses. Also required is the proportion of men and women receiving a bonus and the proportion of males and females in each pay quartile. These figures are calculated according to the snapshot date – 31 March for public sector organisations and 5 April for businesses and charities. Some industries, mining for instance, continue to be dominated by men and have bonus structures that reward employees for dangerous work. These sectors may throw up differences in pay between the different sexes – and businesses will have to explain these anomalies in their published reports. Public sector companies therefore have until 4 April 2018 (30 March for public sector organisations) to make their first declaration. However, the same is not true across all of the UK. The data requirements cover employees in England, Wales and Scotland but Northern Ireland is excluded. There are also differences in the public sector requirements between England, Wales and Scotland.
Companies that operate a group structure with multiple payrolls may qualify as a ‘relevant employer’ and must merge relevant
data from all payrolls in order to report one set of figures. By April 2018, employers will be encouraged to publish an action
plan that demonstrates how it intends to close the gender pay gap.