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Acas and GEO launch new guidance on gender pay reporting to help 8,000 large businesses

Saturday 28 January 2017

Workplace experts Acas and the Government Equalities Office have launched new guidance to help large businesses abide by new gender pay gap regulations, which come into force in April.

The new law requires large companies to take a salary snapshot of male and female employees and report on gender pay gaps within their organisations.

The gender pay gap reporting rule applies to 8,000 businesses and voluntary and charitable organisations in Great Britain with more than 250 employees and will allow managers to see differences in the average salary for men and women in their workplaces.

Companies that have a smaller pay gap between men and women can reap business benefits such as higher productivity and an enhanced reputation as a fair employer.

Acas Chief Executive Anne Sharp said:

"Compulsory gender pay reporting is fast approaching. The new requirement provides a great opportunity for organisations to look at the issue in depth and to consider whether they can do more to develop their talented women and secure the benefits of greater gender diversity at all levels.

"The UK has made progress in reducing the gender pay gap but we still have lots to do - tackling the issue is in the interests of individuals, organisations and the economy as a whole.

"Our new guidance on gender pay reporting provides businesses with practical advice on how to carry out the calculations and on family friendly working to reduce the gap."

Minister for Women, Equalities and Early Years, Caroline Dinenage said:

"No one should ever be held back just because of their gender. We now have the lowest gender pay gap on record, but we still have to push further.

"Shining a light on the gaps is absolutely key to achieving equality in the workplace, which is why we are introducing requirements on all large employers to publish their gender pay and bonus data from April.

"I encourage all employers to use this guidance, which will be an important and helpful tool for tackling the gender pay gap and promoting workplace equality."

It is estimated that it will take at least another 50 years before average women's pay approaches men's but businesses could do many things to close that gap faster. The Acas guidance includes:

  • how to monitor gender differences in the recruitment balance, starting salaries, promotions, and flexible working requests across all job types and levels in the hierarchy
  • how best to promote family friendly working so women can balance work and parental responsibilities, especially for senior roles
  • encouraging men to use flexible working so they share the responsibility of balancing work and a family life.

Gender pay reporting will affect more than 11 million employees across the UK. The new guidance also includes tips on how to calculate the gender pay gap, including:

  • how to correctly count the number of employees for the gender pay gap calculations
  • how and where a business must publish the data from the gender pay gap
  • the penalties if businesses don't comply.

Notes for editors

  1. For media enquiries and a copy of the gender pay reporting guidance please contact Steven Mather, Media and Internal Comms Manager, on 020 7210 3749, For out of hours media enquiries please call the out of hours duty press officer on 020 7210 3600.
  2. The Acas Gender Pay Reporting guidance can be viewed on our Gender pay gap reporting page.
  3. A report published by Deloitte last year, Technology, career pathways and the gender pay gap, found that on current trends the gender pay gap would not narrow until 2069.
  4. The gender pay gap is not the same as equal pay. The gender pay gap measures the gap between the average pay of men and the average pay of women.
  5. Management consultancy, McKinsey, has found that the UK could increase GDP by £150 billion by 2025 if we closed the gender pay gap.
  6. The government's response to consultation on draft regulations for Mandatory Gender Pay Gap Reporting said that the new regulations would affect 8,000 employers and 11 million employees.
  7. Acas stands for Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service. Acas provides free and impartial information and advice to employers and employees on all aspects of workplace relations and employment law. We support good relationships between employers and employees which underpin business success. We also provide good value, high quality training and tailored advice to employers. Our expertise is based on millions of contacts with employers and employees each year. Acas is an independent and impartial statutory body governed by a Council made up of members from business, trade unions, academia and the law.