Consultation published on enforcing the gender pay gap regulations

03 January 2018

The date is fast approaching when thousands of employers must have reported and published their gender pay gap figures and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has recently published a consultation which details their planned approach to enforcing the gender pay gap regulations.

To date only 512 employers have published their data on the government’s gender pay gap reporting service and the expectation is that around 9,000 employers are required to.

All private and voluntary sector employers with 250 or more employees in England, Wales and Scotland must publish information on their gender pay gap under the Equality Act 2010 (gender pay gap information) regulations 2017.

All listed public sector employers with 250 or more employees in England must publish the same information under the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties and Public Authorities) Regulations 2017. (Scottish and Welsh public authorities are already subject to regulations that include gender pay gap reporting).

Private and voluntary sector employers must report the required pay gap information by 4 April 2018. Public sector employers in England must publish the required information by 30 March 2018. All employers covered by the gender pay gap regulations must then respectively report by 30 March and 4 April in following years.


The EHRC has various enforcement powers under the Equality Act; however it is also consulting on its detailed planned approach to non-compliance for 2018-19.

On 17 December 2017 the EHRC published a consultation closing the gap: enforcing the gender pay gap regulations.

The initial aim is to encourage compliance through a range of activities including:

  • Promoting awareness
  • Education
  • Monitoring compliance
  • Publicising compliance rates
  • Promotion of enforcement work

In the first instance, EHRC will aim to resolve non-compliance through informal resolution.

In 2018/19, the intention is to focus enforcement work on employers who do not publish the information required by the gender pay gap regulations. If the EHRC has the capacity to do so, it may also take action against employers for publication of inaccurate data.

Where formal enforcement action is required, it will use the most appropriate action from its range of powers.  The consultation details the indicative timescales within which the EHRC will aim to take certain actions once enforcement action has commenced.

EHRC has created an online survey for interested parties to provide feedback on this consultation.

The closing date for comments is 2 February 2018.

Further information on gender pay gap reporting