Gender Pay Gap public sector draft regulations published

23 January 2017

The Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties and Public Authorities) Regulations 2017 have been laid before parliament for approval before coming into force on 31 March 2017.

These regulations extend the duty to public sector employers with over 250 employees to report and publish gender pay gap information on an annual basis.

 

Geographical extent – the legislation extends to Great Britain. It applies to specified public authorities in England, specified crossborder authorities in Wales and also those operating across Great Britain, in relation to non-devolved functions. Separate regulations made by the Welsh and Scottish Ministers under section 153(2) and (3) of the Act apply to relevant Welsh and Scottish authorities respectively.

 

The government has tried to mirror the regulations which apply to the private and voluntary sector with over 250 employees, where possible, but there are a couple of main differences:

The public sector regulations use a ‘snapshot’ date of 31 March each year, whereas the regulations under section 78 of the Act (for private and voluntary sectors with over 250 employees) use a date of 5 April. Employers are to use data from this ‘snapshot’ period for their reporting obligations. The different dates reflect responses to the public consultations on the proposals - for the public authorities subject to these Regulations, 31 March better aligns with existing reporting requirements and practices.

The Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) Regulations 2011 included an obligation for those public authorities with 150 or more employees to report on the diversity of their workforce. This new requirement complements the explicit gender pay gap reporting requirements for organisations with 250 or more employees.

Guidance on the regulations will be published in due course.