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A TUC guide for trade union activists

From April 2018, public, private and voluntary sector organisations with 250 or more employees must publish information about the gender pay gap in their organisation. They will have to do this each year.

This guide covers:

  • What the gender pay gap is, what causes it and how it differs from equal pay
  • An overview of the new gender pay gap reporting regulations
  • How to negotiate using the new gender pay gap reporting regulations
  • Useful links and further information

Key points

  • New gender pay gap reporting Regulations will provide accessible information about the gender pay gaps in organisations with 250 or more employees. 
  • The new Regulations require all employers with 250 or more employees to report on their gender pay gap.  Employers must report on six key metrics in line with a statutory calculation, meaning gender pay gap reports will be standardised.
  • Employers with 250 or more employees must report on their gender pay gap on an annual basis.
  • This information must be published on the employer’s own website and on a government website. 
  • The gender pay gap Regulations are not the same as an equal pay audit, so they won’t require employers to identify where women are doing work of equal value to men, but not being paid the same. 
  • The Regulations will not require employers to publish a narrative report explaining the gender pay gap or require them to take action to narrow the gender pay gap in their organisation. This is a good opportunity to negotiate to ensure that employers publish a narrative and an action plan to improve the effectiveness of the Regulations.  
  • The data published will give you a better picture of the gender pay gap in your organisation.  Many unions plan to use this information to negotiate action plans with employers to close the gender pay gap. 
  • Tackling the gender pay gap is not a new role for union reps and officers. Trade unions have been at the forefront of equal pay campaigns and tackling the gender pay pap for many years.  The latest TUC Equality Audit provides some great examples of union campaigns and collective bargaining which have led to the gender pay gap being narrowed. 
  • You may already negotiate policies and procedures with employers which have led to the gender pay gap being narrowed. But the new Regulations should provide you with more useful information. This greater transparency will give you an additional tool to negotiate policies and agreements which aim to close the pay gap.
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