Does the gender pay gap reporting duty apply to public-sector employers?

Yes. The gender pay gap reporting duty for public-sector employers in England is set out in the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties and Public Authorities) Regulations 2017 (SI 2017/353), which are in force from 31 March 2017.

The Regulations extend the specific public sector equality duties to include a requirement for public authorities with 250 or more employees to publish:

  • the difference in mean pay between male and female employees;
  • the difference in median pay between male and female employees;
  • the difference in mean bonus pay between male and female employees;
  • the difference in median bonus pay between male and female employees;
  • the proportions of male and female employees who were paid bonus pay; and
  • the proportions of male and female employees in each quartile of their pay distribution.

The Regulations repeal and replace the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) Regulations 2011 (SI 2011/2260). They retain the existing specific duties to publish equality information and equality objectives, in addition to the new gender pay gap reporting duty.

The gender pay gap reporting duty in the public sector is the same as the duty that applies to private- and voluntary-sector employers under the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 (SI 2017/172), except that:

  • the snapshot date for gathering data each year is 31 March (rather than 5 April in the private and voluntary sectors); and
  • there is no requirement for public-sector employers' reports to be accompanied by a statement signed by someone in a specified senior position, confirming the accuracy of the information.

The Regulations apply to public authorities in England and to the non-devolved functions of public authorities in Scotland and Wales. Separate Regulations setting out specific public sector equality duties apply to public authorities in Scotland and Wales, in relation to their devolved public functions. The Regulations applicable to Scotland include a duty for public authorities with at least 20 employees to publish information on the percentage difference between the average hourly pay of its male and female employees, at least every two years.