Employer Alert: Government publishes additional guidance for employers on gender pay gap reporting
The Government has published an FAQ document for employers on Gender Pay Gap Information Reporting here. This follows on from the Government’s guidance for employers on calculating gender pay gap metrics. Our briefing on the Government’s recent guidance is available here.
The Gender Pay Gap (Information) Act 2021 requires the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth to make regulations requiring organisations with over 250 employees (reducing to those with over 50 employees in 2025) to publish information relating to the pay of their employees for the purpose of showing whether there are differences in such pay referable to gender and, if so, the size of such differences. The regulations necessary to give legal effect to the Gender Pay Gap (Information) Act 2021 are still awaited and are expected to be published imminently.
The majority of the information contained in the FAQ document has already been published by the Government. However, of particular interest to employers are the following comments and clarifications:
- The document confirms that an “employer” for the purposes of these reporting obligations is defined in section 2 of the Employment Equality Act 1998 and means, in relation to an employee, the person with whom the employee has entered into or for whom the employee works under (or, where the employment has ceased, entered into or worked under) a contract of employment.
- The type of contract that a person is engaged on will determine whether they are an ‘employee’ and whether they should be included in an organisation’s headcount and gender pay gap calculations. Workers who are employees on the organisation’s chosen snapshot date must be included in the headcount and in the gender pay gap calculations.
- In relation to an agency worker, the person who is liable for the pay of the agency worker shall be deemed to be the employer for the purposes of the reporting obligations.
- The document confirms that organisations will not be required to provide any information on job classifications at this time in reporting on their gender pay gaps.
- Interestingly, the document provides that there is no specified format for the gender pay gap information to be published by the employer other than that the information must be published on the employer’s website “or in some other way in a manner that is accessible to all its employees and to the public”. The information must be available for a period of at least three years beginning with the date of publication. In addition, an employer which has previously published information relating to their organisation’s gender pay gap may continue to use the same report format, provided it meets all requirements for reports that are set out in the regulations (still to be published).
- For the 2022 reporting cycle, the information does not have to be submitted to the Minister. However, it notes that plans are in place to develop an online reporting system for the 2023 reporting cycle which will consist of a central portal where all employer reports will be uploaded and can be accessed publicly. It is anticipated that the system will allow members of the public to search for and view individual employers’ returns, as well as returns for employers in given sectors and regions.
- Should an employer have further queries on how to complete their gender pay gap information reports, the document states that they may contact the Department at [email protected], citing “Gender Pay Gap Information Reporting 2022” in the subject line.
Please contact your usual Arthur Cox contact or any member of the Employment Group if we can be of assistance in helping you comply with your gender pay gap information reporting obligations.