Publication of gender pay gap information (i.e. proportion of male and female employees in different pay bands, gender bonus gap, and breakdown of how many women and men get a bonus) for large companies (250+ staff) is now required by April 2018.
There are no financial penalties for failing to comply and any enforcement action by the Equality and Human Rights Commission is likely to be minimal. It is the “naming and shaming” from government websites or league tables which will be most damaging for a company if their figures do not look good.
Some companies may well have valid reasons for gender pay differences. Whilst explanations can be provided with the published information, these may not be sufficient to counter the reputational damage caused by negative publicity.
The government hopes that having given companies 12 months to prepare for publication will allow them sufficient time to address any gender pay disparity and implement change.
However, the majority of UK employers are small to medium sized companies, so the impact of these regulations will be limited.