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Unlimited Fines and Convictions for Employers Who Fail to Publish Gender Pay Gap Information

BY Miranda Hughes
Employment Law & HR

If you are an employer with 250 employers or more, you should have been gearing up for April 5th 2018 for a while now. This is the date that you will need to publish your gender pay gap information on, unless you are a public sector organisation in which case the publishing date is 31 March 2017.

When the regulations on gender pay gap reporting first came out, many commented on the fact that they did not impose any sanctions for non-compliance which effectively meant that employers could probably afford to ignore them. However, the regulations did empower the Equality and Human Rights Commission to take enforcement action and they have now advised that they fully intend to take advantage of this.

The EHRC’s enforcement policy has opened for consultation, which will close on 2 February 2018. At present, they plan to:

  • Investigate suspected beaches of the regulations and offer them the opportunity to enter into a formal agreement to comply as an alternative to continuing with the investigation
  • Issue unlawful act notices against those who do not accept this offer and who are found to have breached the regulations as a result of the investigation. This will require firms to comply with an action plan which may be enforced through court orders

Where firms refuse to comply with a court order, the EHRC plans to seek summary convictions and unlimited fines. This will be enforced against both private and voluntary sector employers.

At present, only 4.6% of those who need to publish their results in April have done so. If you are unsure whether you need to publish a gender pay gap information or have any other questions on gender pay gap reporting, please get in touch with your dedicated Employment Solicitor today.

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