On December 19, 2017 the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) proposed a draft plan for enforcement action in relation to The Equality Act of 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017. The proposal was set out in a draft policy, and it was open for consultation until February 2, 2018. We now await the results.

The Regulations, which first came into force on April 6, 2017, stated that private sector employers with 250 or more employees were required to disclose certain information about their gender pay gap. To summarize, the following information for the relevant pay period must be published by no later than April 4, 2018 and thereafter annually if the employer still falls within the scope of the Regulations:

During the development of the Regulations, there was uncertainty surrounding the consequences of failing to comply with the obligations. The Regulations have indicated that it would be an “unlawful act” if employers were to be non-compliant, and that the EHRC could take enforcement action under its statutory powers. In the draft proposal, the EHRC describes how it will scale the level of non-compliance after the reporting deadline and will then decide which form of enforcement is required. The EHRC is committed to ensuring high participation from private-sector employers in the first reporting year by continually raising awareness of the gender pay reporting requirements. However, the levels of enforcement for non-compliant companies are as follows:


It is doubtful that the proposed enforcement plan and the results of the EHRC’s consultation will be known before the first deadline of April 4, 2018. Employers should make sure they are aware of the reporting obligations and will want to have processes and procedures in place to collect and analyze the relevant data. It is important to note that the EHRC is intending to address the inaccurate reporting of the gender pay gap. Therefore, employers will want to ensure that their data is accurate and that any accompanying documentation should be credible and presentable.

Written by Daniella McGuigan of Ogletree Deakins