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Shining a light on gender pay

  1. What is the gender pay gap?
  2. Why is the government introducing gender pay gap legislation?
  3. Pay gap reporting
  4. Calculating the pay gap


Are women getting a fair deal in the workplace? In the USA, female workers are sticking up for one another. 'Shine' theory is a new phenomenon that has seen female employees champion each other's ideas and achievements to gain greater recognition. "I don't shine if you don't shine" is the simple thought behind it. 

Workplace equality is a hot issue in the UK, as well as the States. Regulations on gender pay gap reporting due to commence in April 2017 (subject to parliamentary approval) will have a huge significance for large employers in the UK. For the first time, they will be legally bound to calculate and report the gender pay gap in their organisation.


What is the gender pay gap?

The gender pay gap is the average difference between men and women's combined hourly pay over time - regardless of their role. Unlike 'equal pay' which is about paying men and women the same for doing the same job, 'gender pay' focuses on average pay by gender.  By calculating the pay gap, it's possible to show differences across an organisation, a sector, or the employment market in general.

There are many reasons why the gender pay gap exists and these can vary by industrial sector.

The Government wants employers to look closely at the reasons behind the gap and take reasonable and proportionate action to tackle this.

Why is the government introducing gender pay gap legislation?

The Government wants greater transparency in pay, so that organisations address the issues which disadvantage women. This will require large companies (those employing 250 or more) to publish gender pay gap data annually - but companies of any size may benefit from doing the same.  By comparing this data, it is hoped it will motivate organisations to address underlying reasons for the pay gap.

See the Government's response to public consultation on closing the gender pay gap.

Pay gap reporting

Expected to apply from April 2017, if you are a private, voluntary or public sector (England) organisation employing more than 250 staff, you will be required to publish information about the average pay differences between men and women in your organisation.

The report must be published on the organisation's website, and details must also be uploaded to a government-sponsored website. Employers will have to keep this information online for three years so that progress can be measured.

Calculating the pay gap

Employers will need to use data from a specific pay period every April. Calculations should show a comparison between women and men's pay. This should be based on both a 'mean' (average) gross hourly pay value and 'median' (midpoint) gross hourly pay. They will also need to carry out similar calculations for bonus payments.

Find out more

Read further information on the gender pay gap.


Keeping you informed on pay gap legislation.

Acas are here to help employers stay up to date with pay gap legislation.

Sign up to our newsletter - for the latest guidance after the regulations become law. 

Training courses - get more details on Acas training for gender pay reporting.



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