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Are employers in the UK obliged to report gender pay differences?

United Kingdom
Written by
Lewis Silkin, widely recognised as the UK’s leading specialist employment law practice.
Employers have a direct obligation on report gender pay differences in the UK. This article provides details.

Large private and voluntary sector employers (over 250 staff) are required to publish the organisation’s gender pay gap statistics annually as at a snapshot date of 5 April. These employers are required to publish the following figures: 

  • the mean and median hourly pay gap; 
  • the mean and median bonus pay gap; 
  • the proportion of men and women receiving bonuses; 
  • the number of men and women in each of the four pay quartiles across the organisation. 


The data must be published within one year of the snapshot date on the employer’s website in a clearly visible place and uploaded to a government website which is also publicly accessible. The report itself must be signed by a specified senior person (e.g. a director or partner) confirming its accuracy. Employers can also provide an explanation of the figures if they wish to do so (e.g. to explain any anomalies).  

There is no enforcement mechanism for non-compliance with this reporting requirement, although it is possible that the Equality and Human Rights Commission could investigate a failure to comply and issue an enforcement notice. There may also be significant reputational risks if an employer does not comply.   

The report (or lack of a report) is likely to be mentioned in any potential discrimination or equal pay claims. If the employer chooses to apply pay grades to its workforce as part of the report, an employee could use this to show they were doing work rated as equivalent or of equal value as another employee placed in the same grade, which could be used in an equal pay claim.