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UK HR E-brief - Government plans to name employers who have not yet reported gender pay data

  • United Kingdom
  • Employment law - HR E-Brief

12-01-2018

The Government Equalities Office (GEO) has said it plans to publish, in early 2018, the names of employers who have not yet reported their pay data on the government’s gender pay reporting website: www.gov.uk/genderpaygap. Although there does not appear to have been an official announcement of the plans, the GEO revealed its intentions in emails sent to employers who have registered on the website.

The GEO has not said how intends to go about compiling an accurate list of those employers who are obliged to report their gender pay data but have not yet registered on the government website. In theory, a large number of those employers could be identified through HMRC PAYE returns but, as a general rule, HMRC records are confidential and can only be disclosed to other government departments in limited circumstances. What we do know, however, is that if the GEO does publish the names of those who have not yet uploaded their data, it is likely to be an extremely long list. The Government has estimated that some 9,000 businesses will be obliged to report and, although the GEO says thousands have registered on the government online service, fewer than 600 have actually uploaded their pay data to the system.

This latest move suggests that ministers may be feeling frustrated that the overwhelming majority of employers have not released their pay data ahead of this April’s deadline. Nevertheless, employers should be wary of succumbing to pressure to publish their data before they are satisfied that they understand, and are able to explain, the reasons for any pay gaps and any steps they are, or could be, taking to tackle them.

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