Organisations are legally required by the Equality Act 2010 to provide equal pay to both men and women if their duties and work they do is the same or broadly similar. Paying them a different rate because of their gender is unlawful. Regardless of this law, a pay gap still exists today.
In April 2017, the difference between earnings for full time male and female employees, calculated on a median hourly basis, was 9.1%. In order to attempt to address this, the government decided to introduce an obligation on organisations to publish data on the salary of male and female employees. Specifically, organisations will need to show what the gap is between male and female pay.
The Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 took effect from 6 April 2017, requiring organisations to take a ‘snapshot’ of their gender pay data on 5 April 2017. Organisations will have a further 12 months in which to analyse and publish that data, by April 2018 at the latest. Data will then need to be published annually.
The government has launched an initiative aimed at levelling up employment opportunities for women, by improving pay transparency in the recruitment process. Employers participating in a government pilot scheme will be asked to include salary details on job adverts, and stop asking about salary history during recruitment.