Gender pay gap reporting regulations now in force

07 April 2017


Gender pay reporting legislation requires employers with 250 or more employees to publish statutory calculations every year showing how large the pay gap is between their male and female employees.


The UK is one of the first countries in the world to require gender pay gap reporting and follows the government’s commitment to introduce the requirements at the last election. This is a key part of the government’s work to eliminate the gender pay gap.


Voluntary, private and public sector employers with 250 or more employees will be required to publish their figures by April 2018 (using a ‘snap shot’ from April 2017 data). The regulations will cover approximately 9,000 employers with over 15 million employees, representing nearly half of the UK’s workforce.


The UK gender pay is already at a record low of 18.1 per cent. These requirements will help employers to identify the gaps in their organisations and take action to close the gender pay gap.


The new reporting requirements are part of wider work the government is doing to support women in the workplace. This includes £5 million to increase returnships, offering 30 hours of free childcare, and introducing shared parental leave and new rights to request flexible working. There is also extensive cross-government work to get more women into the top jobs at the UK’s biggest companies and to get more girls taking STEM subjects at school.


As part of the new regulations, employers will be required to:

  • Publish their median gender pay gap figures

By identifying the wage of the middle earner, the median is the best representation of the ‘typical’ gender difference. Employers will be asked to use data from a ‘snapshot’ period in April to calculate this average.

  • Publish their mean gender pay gap figures

By taking into account the full earnings distribution, the mean takes into account the low and high earners in an organisation – this is particularly useful as women are often over-represented at the low earning extreme and men are over-represented at the high earning extreme.

  • Publish the proportion of men & women in each quartile of the pay structure

This data will show the spread of male and female earners across an organisation, helping to show employers where women’s progress might be stalling so they can take action to support their career development.

  • Publish the gender pay gaps for any bonuses paid out during the year

As there is a significant issue around bonus payments in some sectors, employers will also have to publish the proportion of male and proportion of female employees that received a bonus during the year.


Employers will also be encouraged to publish an action plan alongside their figures, demonstrating the steps they will take to close the gender pay gap within their organisation.

The government is working with leading employers who are exploring publishing their figures early.


Further information

The Government Equalities Office has also launched its new campaign page where employers can access resources, case studies and publish their gender pay gap figures. The campaign page has been set up as a hub to support employers in their gender pay gap reporting and will include:

  • An animation giving an overview of the requirements
  • Links to the reporting portal and guidance on
  • Infographic showing some of the key benefits of gender diversity in the workplace
  • Links to case studies and further support on closing the gender pay gap from Acas and the Women’s Business Council.

The updated GEO-Acas employer guidance now covers public sector employers.