As my colleague, Laura Pointon, mentioned in her recent blog, investigations into gender pay gap (“GPG”) reporting are due to start in June this year.
Laura makes the argument that if the EHRC wants businesses to take GPG reporting seriously they will have to use the full extent of the sanctions they have available.
In the run up to those investigations starting, the EHRC has now released a statement from its Chief Executive, Rebecca Hilsenrath, in which she reveals that in April they “contacted almost 1,500 businesses to commence enforcement proceedings and as a result the number of employers facing investigation is now under 500”.
She goes on to say that “Breach of these regulations is breaking the law and we’ve always been clear we will enforce with zero tolerance.”
Earlier in the month, the Guardian also reported that government ministers were being tasked with demanding key sectors for which they had responsibility under their departments to provide action plans on how they would reduce their gender pay gaps.
I, and others, will be watching the progress of the investigations with interest and will report back as to the approach being adopted. However, I'm not expecting a great deal of leniency.
And as for those businesses with less than 250 employees, the debate about how the regulations might be extended is gathering pace. For example, is the 250 employee threshold likely to remain in place? is it capable of justification? and as I’ve mooted previously how long will it be before the reporting obligations are extended to cover the ethnicity pay gap? Watch this space!
If as a business you are facing enforcement action or you require assistance understanding your obligations under the regulations please get in touch.
Hundreds of companies are being pursued by Britain’s equality watchdog after failing to file gender pay gap data on time.