Gender Pay Gap Reporting - CIPP policy whitepaper


Compliance and enforcement

It was certainly expected by both the EHRC and the Government Equalities Office (GEO) that many employers would publish close to the deadline. Based on presumptions of large employer behaviour as they are generally compliant, it is surprising that so many employers have not uploaded their gender pay gap data. However, given that this is the first year of reporting and in recognition of the lateness of publication of final regulations in the spring of 2017 and the publication of final employer guidance prior to the first snapshot dates; we would hope that for the first reporting year a light touch and informal approach to enforcement be taken. Certainly we are encouraged by the EHRC’s aim to ‘resolve non-compliance through informal resolution’ with the focus more on education and awareness for employers.

What will be interesting is the EHRC’s reaction (or rather action) as to the number of employers who have not reported their gender pay gap results. During their consultation they confirmed:

“Working with the GEO, we will monitor which employers have published the information required under the GPGR and the accuracy of such information, with a view to holding non-compliant employers to account.”

Given the significant number of employers that EHRC could have to hold to account and the resource involved, monitoring the information published by compliant employers will be a challenge. However, EHRC have openly stated their reservations in their ability to be able to police accurately and fully, particularly in year one.

“Prior to taking any action in relation to individual employers we will take further steps to encourage overall compliance…”

The CIPP surveyed members and the wider payroll profession with regard to enforcement in advance of submitting a written response to the EHRC consultation:

l 61% agreed that it is reasonable to prioritise enforcement action for failure to publish information in the first year

l 48% agreed that the Commission appears to have taken the right approach to escalating enforcement action but 18% disagreed

l 57% of respondents agreed with the steps the Commission is taking to encourage compliance, however, worryingly almost 40% neither agreed nor disagreed .

“Let us see what takes place in reality. Like the words but…” Comment from one respondent



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