Thousands of UK companies are now required to publish their gender pay gap figures, as the country becomes one of the first to introduce mandatory gender pay gap reporting. Under new rules that take effect from Thursday, public, private and voluntary sector employers with 250 or more employees must publish data about their pay gap within the next year.
According to the Government Equalities Office, the regulations cover approximately 9,000 employers with over 15 million employees, representing nearly half of the UK’s workforce.
The move is part of efforts to stamp out discrimination in the workplace.
The UK gender pay gap currently stands at a record low of 18.1% for all workers, or 9.4% for full-time staff. It’s hoped that the new requirements will help employers to identify the gaps in their organisations and take action to rectify the issue.
Justine Greening, Minister for Women and Equalities, commented:
“We have more women in work, more women-led businesses than ever before and the highest proportion of women on the boards of our biggest companies. This has helped us to narrow the gender pay gap to a record 18.1% — but we want to eliminate it completely.
“Helping women to reach their full potential isn’t only the right thing to do, it makes good economic sense and is good for British business. I am proud that the UK is championing gender equality and now those employers that are leading the way will clearly stand out with these requirements.”
Under the new rules, employers will be required to publish their median and mean gender pay gap figures and the proportion of men and women in each quartile of the pay structure. They must also publish the gender pay gaps for any bonuses paid out during the year.
Additionally, employers will be encouraged to publish an action plan setting out the steps they will take to close the gender pay gap within their organisation.
The Women’s Equality Party welcomed the new reporting rules but argued that they should go much further, by requiring companies to publish pay data broken down by age, ethnicity and disability, as well as gender. The party also said that the rules should apply to businesses with more than 50 employees within three years.