Employers will be pleased that "Dry January" is over as they start to contemplate the new gender pay gap reporting rules.

Reaching for a large G&T may well be the only way to recover from a week of working on complicated spreadsheets, difficult definitions, and desperate attempts to explain away the gap between men’s and women’s pay…

ACAS has now published its draft guidance on managing the gender pay reporting process. It is at pains to point out that this is still a draft (and the eagle eyed lawyers at Lupton Fawcett have already spotted several typos), and that a final version will not be available until the draft Regulations have been finalised.

Employers with 250 or more employees on the “snapshot date” of 5 April 2017 will be covered by the legislation. The guidance identifies the six different types of calculation that employers will have to make. However, what is noticeable about the guidance is the emphasis that it places on the benefits to employers of publishing their data early, and of formulating an action plan to reduce the gender pay gap within their own organisations. In particular, ACAS points out that:

  • employers who publish their figures early may be seen as leaders in their sector;
  • publishing early can have a positive impact on recruitment, retention and awards of contracts;
  • published action plans are likely to enable an employer to attract a wider pool of applicants for vacancies; and
  • customers may well be influenced by employers who are seen to be taking the issue of the gender pay gap seriously.

Certainly, finding the right message to publish alongside the six gender pay gap calculations will be crucial for employers. HR professionals will no doubt have to rely on their marketing consultants, as well as their finance team, to help them deal with this new headache …

Confused by the new rules on gender pay reporting? Contact us for details of our Gender Pay Gap Training, which is available at our offices or on-site at your premises.

If you would like to discuss any issues raised in this article, we have specific employment law expertise in advising in this area. For further advice, please contact Louise Connacher.

Please note this information is provided by way of example and may not be complete and is certainly not intended to constitute legal advice. You should take bespoke advice for your circumstances.

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