Gender Pay Gap – are you ready?

February 8, 2017

With requirements for Gender Pay Gap Reporting just weeks away, HR180 looks at the responsibilities on business owners, what the timings are looking likely to be and what business owners and managers must be aware of now. Are YOU ready?

Gender Pay Gap Responsibilites

What is happening?

The Government wants to highlight companies that do not address pay differences between men and women. Both companies AND voluntary organisations from this April will be required to publish the number of men and women in all their various pay ranges to clearly show where pay gaps are at their widest.

Equal pay vs. gender pay gap

What’s the difference between equal pay and the gender pay gap, I hear you ask? Whilst equal pay results in both men and women earning the same amount for the same or equivalent type of work, gender pay gap is the difference in average hourly earnings between the sexes.

The Gender Pay Gap is a major problem for working women and the ONS have figures to show it. Average pay for men is greater than that for women and though the gap narrowed to its lowest figure, at under 10% for full-time employees in 2015, the actual percentage has stayed relatively static.

Your responsibility?

Employers with more than 250 staff will be obliged to report information on the gender pay gap in their organisation from 6 April 2017. This is the date The Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 comes into force. There are significant requirements so it is crucial you have the correct information in place ready for the report due in April 2018.

The main points from the legislation you will be required to publish are:

  • the difference between the average hourly rate of pay paid to male and female employees
  • the difference between the average bonus paid to male and female employees
  • the proportions of male and of female employees who receive bonuses
  • and the relative proportions of male and female employees in each ‘quartile’ pay band of the workforce.

Your HR team will need to work with you to ensure you have these figures easily to hand, and give your team PLENTY of time to put the statutory reports together, as failure to comply with any of the full obligations set out and imposed by the Regulations will ‘constitute an unlawful act’!!

There’s a marketing angle too. When you publish your gender pay gap information as required, if it leaves much to be desired, then there’ll be fallout with potentially a lot of bad PR – and your business might be blacklisted by potential clients or partners because you are a poor performer, and your competitors will have a field day!  Not to mention the disgruntled staff. How you handle the comms aspect is another aspect your HR professional can help with especially for the fall out with your staff…

What happens when?

Firstly, we know that the regulations come into force on 6 April 2017. Then no later than 4 April 2018, organisations of 250+ employees size will need to publish statutory data. In the meantime here are 5 things you can be doing:


Because the data requirements relate to ‘relevant’ employees you will need to get a grasp of the definition in the final legislation (though this is yet to be published!) especially if you think you are close to the 250+ level.


Do you know where the data is held within your organisation and how you will gather it for a defined period as required by the legislation?


Why not test the waters using last year’s figures? No matter what size your business it is good practice to have an idea of whether or not there’s a gender pay gap within your organisation.


Get a handle on this data now you are well prepared to put in place an explanation of why there is a gap. This may well help deal with complaints from your workforce and how you say you will deal with the issue can put you ahead of your competition.


Make yourself aware of any pay gap problems in your organisation, then you can look at ways of improving the situation for the first reporting year and onwards. This may be achieved through personal development, or recruiting, of the gender which is poorly represented in a particular pay band, and/or cultural changes in the workplace to close your gender pay gap.

Our original version was published by our friends at Forward Ladies.

Leeds based HR180 is a team of superheroes in HR Outsourcing, Projects and Consultancy committed to equality for all employees irrespective of gender. We work with organisations of all sizes to establish working policies to go above and beyond Employment Law requirements, to protect both employees and employers alike. We love to hear from you, so call us on 0113 287 8150.

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