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Final Gender Pay Gap Regulations Published

on Tuesday, 24 January 2017.

The government has now published the much anticipated and long awaited final draft of the Gender Pay Gap Reporting regulations.

The Regulations are expected to come into force on 6 April 2017.

The Regulations apply to all schools with 250 "relevant employees" at the relevant date - the first of which is 5 April 2017. All schools that are caught will need to be prepared to capture the relevant data on 5 April but will then have up to 4 April 2018 to report on it.

There are five reports that are required under the Regulations;

  • the difference in mean pay between genders (expressed as a %)
  • the difference in median pay between genders (expressed as a %)
  • the difference in mean bonus payments between genders (expressed as a %)
  • the proportion of men and women in the workforce that received a bonus
  • the number of men and women in each quartile of the pay range

We would recommend that schools accompany the key reports with a narrative and also consider publishing further information if it would add helpful context.

The final draft regulations do still leave a number of unanswered questions for schools, but incorporate a number of amendments to help clarify a number of areas that were previously either unclear or a cause for concern for employers. These include:

  • Calculations to be based on employees in receipt of their usual salary on 5 April 2017
    Those staff who are in receipt of sick pay or maternity pay (or similar) at a rate lower than their full salary will not be included in the calculations. This means that the figures will not be artificially distorted, particularly with lots of women on maternity pay which would have led to an exaggerated pay gap.
  • A calculation of hourly rate for staff with irregular weekly paid hours
    The regulations prescribe that a 12 week average should be used for calculating the gross hourly rate of pay for staff who do not have regular weekly paid hours. This will be helpful for staff who work under other irregular working patterns such as peripatetic staff, coaches or exam invigilators.
  • Definition of relevant employees
    The definition of 'relevant employee' has been amended so that it is now expressly clear that the regulations include workers and employees. This means that whilst genuinely self- employed staff and agency workers will be outside the scope most other casual staff will be caught.
  • Pay quartiles
    The final draft Regulations have helpfully clarified what a pay quartile is and how to calculate pay quartile bands. Schools will be required to rank employees in order of their pay from lowest to highest, then divide the workforce into 4 equal groups based on their gross hourly pay rate and report on the proportion of genders in each group. This will show the gender profile across an organisation, and critically will not be affected by a few high earners.
    Schools will also be relieved to know that there is no requirement to publish to pay rates within each 'quartile', so this report will not disclose senior management pay.

Best Practice

Schools have the opportunity to use the time between now and the first 'snapshot' date, to undertake a trial pay data analysis, including a detailed risk assessment of potential problem areas, and consideration of how best to report the data externally by 2018. You can find more information in our gender pay gap regulations FAQs.

If you would like to explore how we can help with compiling your data or reviewing the issues arising out of any trial run, please contact Alice Reeve in our Independent Schools team on 0117 314 5383.

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