Editor's message: Equal pay legislation has been around since the 1970s, giving men and women the right to claim equal pay where they perform "equal work". The gender pay gap, however, covers the difference in the average earnings of men and women, regardless of their role or seniority. There are a variety of factors behind it, including the impact on women's career progression of taking time out of the labour market to have children, and career choices, with typical “male” subjects such as IT and science often leading to higher-paid roles.
To address the issue, the Government introduced a requirement for all large organisations to publish their gender pay gap. This involves producing six key metrics, including the difference in the mean and median pay and bonus pay of men and women, along with the proportion of men and women in each of four quartile pay bands.
The deadline for employers to report their gender pay gaps passed at midnight on 30 March for those in the public sector, and at midnight on 4 April for those in the private and voluntary sectors. At that point, 10,016 organisations had uploaded their data to the government gender pay gap reporting website to appear in a publicly available league table.
Although some organisations are expected to report their data later than the legal deadline, we have conducted a short analysis of the data published by 5 April.
Fiona Cuming, employment law editor
Many of the errors in employers' gender pay gap reports could be avoided if the government adopted simpler calculation methods and supported HR professionals to access statistical skills, according to a statistician body.
Almost eight in 10 organisations still pay men more than women, the latest round of gender pay gap reporting has revealed.
Updated to reflect the passing of the deadline for employers to publish their second gender pay gap report.
The gap between male and female graduate pay has continued to widen, with men earning 15% more than women five years after completing their degrees.
As large employers reach the deadline for reporting their 2018 gender pay gap next week, research among middle and senior managers has shown that two fifths (41%) were unaware whether their organisation published their GPG.
Practical guidance on using positive action when taking steps to close the gender pay gap, including the difference between positive action and positive discrimination, measures that could amount to positive action and how to develop an action plan.
Every April, HR professionals are faced with a raft of amended employment laws and deadlines for their organisation to meet. Important issues in April 2019 include changes to the law on payslips and the usual increases to the national minimum wage, maternity pay and redundancy payments. Large employers should also be working on their second gender pay gap report and their latest modern slavery statement. Meanwhile, the impact of Brexit on EEA nationals continues to be a major issue.
Analysis by the BBC has revealed that four in 10 private companies have reported wider gender pay gaps for 2018 than the previous year.
Gender pay gap reporting can help to close the gender pay gap by encouraging organisations to hire more women and speed up their promotion, a study of organisations in Denmark has suggested.
MPs have accused the government of being too "timid" to hold businesses to account for their gender pay gaps after it refused to take forward a number of recommendations made last year - including lowering the threshold to organisations employing 50 staff or more.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to the gender pay gap.