The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has written to the Government informing it that in June it will be commencing the first of its gender pay gap investigations into employers who have failed to comply with their gender pay gap (GPG) reporting obligations. The announcement should not come as a surprise as the EHRC issued a warning prior to 4 April 2018 deadline that any companies which failed to comply with their reporting obligations could face enforcement action in the form of a fine or an investigation.
“Let me be very very clear: failing to report is breaking the law. We have the powers to enforce against companies who are in breach of these regulations. We take this enormously seriously. We have been very clear that we will be coming after 100% of companies that do not comply.”
Two stories have made the headlines today, and both relate to stretched resources. The stories look at preparing the UK immigration system for after Brexit, and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) enforcing employers to publish gender pay gap information.
The latest report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has highlighted the prevalence of part-time working among women, and particularly mothers, as contributing significantly to the gender pay gap, which although down from 30 per cent from the early 90s still stands at around 20 per cent.
A steady trickle of gender pay gap reports are now being published as 2017 draws to a close, leaving just over three months until the 5 April 2018 deadline for publication. However, analysis by the Financial Times suggests not all of the published results are accurate. Meanwhile, the Government Equalities Office (GEO) has published a toolkit to assist employers in calculating and publishing their gender pay gap data and then taking action to remove any gap.
The Office for National Statistics published data this week that shows London as a region has the widest gender pay gap in the UK. Currently, women working full-time in London earn 14.6 per cent less than their male colleagues. In the past twenty years the gap has narrowed only slightly from 15.1 per cent. In contrast, during this same period the pay gap in Wales and Scotland has gone from 17.5 per cent and 18.4 per cent to 6.3 per cent and 6.6. per cent respectively.