The Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 come into force today.
The Regulations are aimed at closing the gender pay gap - that is the difference in the average earnings of men and women, regardless of the jobs they are undertaking or any other material factors. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) the gender pay gap in 2016 stood at 9.4% for full-time employees and at 18.1% once part-time employees are included.
The Regulations require employers with 250 or more employees to publish information about the differences in pay between men and women. Employers must take a "snapshot" of their pay data on 5 April 2017 and then publish that information no later than 4 April 2018, and then publish data annually. The public sector snapshot date was 31 March 2017. The information must be published on an employer's website, and linked to a Government website which will publish league tables.
There will be no civil penalty for non-compliance, however, compliance will be closely monitored and failure to comply will constitute an 'unlawful act' under section 34 of the Equality Act 2006, which will give the Equality and Human Rights Commission the power to take enforcement action.
Acas has issued guidance.