Further to our last article, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has stated that the gender pay gap reporting investigations into the approximately 1500 organisations that missed the deadlines for reporting their data will begin in June 2018.
Gender Pay Gap Reporting Investigations
The EHRC announced that there would be gender pay gap reporting investigations after it was determined that around 1500 organisations had missed the deadlines. At the time, Rebecca Hilsenrath, the chief executive of the EHRC, stated: “We’re looking at approximately 1,500 companies which haven’t reported. We’re obviously pleased with the rate of reporting, but it is the law, it’s not an option. It is the right thing to do, and we will be enforcing against all those organisations which failed to meet the deadline.” In terms of those who failed to report, she added: “This is going to be a very public affair. It will impact quite considerably on members of the public, people who work for them, and you’ll see a growing backlash against people who aren’t complying. [Where court action is taken] the process will result in a summary conviction, and unlimited fines set by the court.” She also stated that action would be taken against those whose figures are found not to be credible.
Investigations To Begin In June 2018
In a letter to Nicky Morgan (chair of the Treasury select committee), Rebecca Hilsenrath confirmed the following:-
- The enforcement process commenced on the 9th April 2018
- The EHRC wrote to all of the 1500 organisations who had missed the deadlines by letter on the 9th April 2018. In that letter, the organisations were given 28 days to comply with their obligations to report their data, failing which they would face further action.
- As at the 18th April 2018, more than 400 organisations had responded to the letters they had received to confirm that they had now complied, or to point out that they were not subject to the requirement to report data. Since the EHRC wrote to Nicky Morgan on the 18th April 2018, this number has increased further. When the deadlines passed, 10,015 organisations had complied on time. As at today’s date at the time of writing (the 29th April 2018), however, 10,582 organisations have now complied. That means that 567 organisations have now complied after the deadlines had expired, but prior to the expiry of the 28 days they were given from the 9th April 2018 to comply
- In relation to those organisations who fail to comply within the 28 days, then “the next stage for private sector employers will be an investigation under section 20 of the Equality Act 2006, in which we establish whether an employer has committed an unlawful act. If we conclude that it has done so, we will issue an unlawful act notice. If they do not comply with the notice, we will apply for a court order requiring them to do so. Breach of this court order is punishable upon conviction with a level 5 (unlimited) fine……we will publish details of all employers that reach the investigation stage, along with our terms of reference, at the start of the investigation, and our final report setting out our conclusions at the end of the investigation. This information will be published on our website where it will be available to members of the public and the media. We anticipate commencing our first tranche of investigations at the beginning of June.”