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Voluntary Gender Equality Analysis and Reporting

A legal framework requiring equal pay for equal work between men and women has been in place since 1970 yet there is still a significant gender pay gap: women who work full time in the public sector are paid on average 10 per cent less than men and that figure rises to 19.8 per cent in the private sector (GEO research).

Voluntary Gender Equality Reporting (VGER) is an initiative set up by the Government in 2011 and aimed at private sector and voluntary organisations employing around 150 people or more who would like to address issues of equality between men and women but are unsure about how to proceed.

Download Acas guidance on pdf icon Voluntary Gender Equality Analysis and Reporting [264kb].

The Equality Act 2010 requires public sector organisations to consider gender equality within their workplaces as part of the Equality Duty and to publish relevant gender equality data; this transparency is a driver to tackle gender inequality. Further transparency measures in the Act included making pay secrecy clauses in employment contracts unenforceable and protecting employees from victimisation if they seek to find out what other employees earn.

Alongside this action in the public sector, the Government is asking businesses to undertake gender equality analysis and reporting on a voluntary basis. This is a business-led approach which has been created in consultation with leading employer bodies and private sector partners.

The aim is to help organisations identify and act on any unfairness based on gender, without further regulation from government.

The initiative means you:

  1. Think about gender equality; check if you could do more using the workforce and pay measures described below
  2. Take action; to address any differences that will ensure you get the best from your employees and
  3. Report on what you achieved through workforce measures, and/or pay measures and include a narrative to contextualise and support the measures you've taken.

Further information is available from the Acas guidance on pdf icon Voluntary Gender Equality Analysis and Reporting [264kb].

Closing the Gender Pay Gap consultation

On 14 July 2015, the Government announced:

  • that every company with more than 250 employees will have to publish the difference between the average pay of their male and female employees
  • the launch of a consultation on new gender pay gap regulations, including what, where and when information will be published. It is also seeking views on what else can be done to encourage girls to consider the widest range of careers, support parents returning to work and help women of all ages reach their full potential and have the security of a well-paid job.

Go to GOV.UK - Closing the Gender Pay Gap consultation to have your say on the Closing the Gender Pay Gap consultation before 6 September 2015.

See also Acas Equal Pay guidance.

Further guidance

The Equality and Human Rights Commission website contains comprehensive guidance on gender equality and tackling pay discrimination.