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Consistent approach needed to eliminate gender pay gap, says Greening

The government has changed the date for public sector organisations to capture data surrounding the gender pay gap to 31 March 2017, instead of 5 April, following its consultation on the potential regulations.

Under current proposals the government is considering making it mandatory under the Equalities Act 2010 for any public sector body with over 250 employees to publish the pay gap between its staff, as will also soon be the case in the private and voluntary sectors.

Public sector organisations will now have to publish their gender pay gap information every year from 30 March 2018, one year after the data is collected.

The consultation, which was open between August and September last year, received 125 responses from public authorities, individuals and trade unions, the majority of which were in favour of the proposed change.

“Tackling the gender pay gap is an absolute priority for this government. That is why we are delivering on our manifesto commitment to introduce mandatory gender pay gap reporting for larger private and voluntary sector organisations and why we extended this commitment to the public sector,” said Justine Greening, secretary of state for education and minister for women and equalities.

“Introducing the same mandatory reporting regime for all major employers in the public, private and voluntary sectors will ensure consistency across the economy and help make our ambition to eliminate the gender pay gap a reality.”

In its response to the consultation, the government declined to make the regulations applicable to organisations smaller than 250 employees due to an existing requirement for bodies above 150 employees to publish diversity information.

Respondents to the consultation asked whether police officers and members of the armed forces should be included due to their being ‘office-holders’ rather employees, which has led the government to change the wording to include them.

However, the government said that temporary or agency staff will not be included in the data requirements in order to avoid duplication.

The government also clarified the definition of ‘pay’, including basic pay, bonus pay and paid leave but excluding overtime pay, expenses and redundancy pay.

Organisations will not be required to submit a narrative with their gender pay gap information but are invited to do so, the government said.

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