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Employment Law

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Veale Wasborough Vizards , 30 AUG 2016

Closing the Gender Pay Gap in the public sector - consultation launched

Closing the Gender Pay Gap in the public sector - consultation launched
Gemma Cawthray
Associate, Veale Wasbrough Vizards

Gender pay gap reporting is being introduced for the private and voluntary sectors.

In a week when there has been more commentary and statistics on the gender pay gap, the government has now launched consultation to introduce similar reporting obligations to tackle the gender pay gap in the public sector.

Gender pay gap regulations affecting large private and voluntary sector employers are expected to be brought into effect in April 2017.

In October 2015, the government announced its intention to introduce similar reporting obligations for the public sector. The consultation paper published on 18 August 2016 states that tackling the gender pay gap is a 'high priority' and that 'it is only right that public sector employers should lead the way in promoting gender equality in the workforce'. The consultation paper states that the gender pay gap across the public sector is 18.5%, compared to 25.3% in the private sector.

The consultation paper explains that the public sector reporting obligations are intended to mirror those for the private and voluntary sectors, to ensure consistency and comparability across the sectors. This means that the government does not intend to consult on the actual gender pay reporting measures; instead, merely inviting feedback on any issues which may impact on public sector bodies.

Importantly, the government has indicated that the reporting timetable for the private and voluntary sector regulations will be followed for the public sector too. This means we can expect mandatory gender pay gap reporting for both the private and public sectors to be introduced in April 2017. The government appears committed to take action to introduce these regulations to tackle the gender pay gap so that the first publication date for gender pay gap data will be April 2018.

The consultation closes on 30 September 2016.

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