Commission responds to government announcement on gender pay gap

Published: 12 Feb 2016

Commenting in response to Government publishing draft regulations to make gender pay gap reporting mandatory for large companies, Rebecca Hilsenrath, CEO at the Equality and Human Rights Commission said:

'Today’s announcement is a welcome, but long overdue, step in the right direction. Mandatory reporting should encourage large companies to take action to close their gender pay gaps. However, while we welcome this requirement for more transparency, we are concerned that the proposals do not appear to provide any sanction for failure to comply. If companies are to take this seriously, we need to be able to use our enforcement powers to ensure that they do what is required. We await the Government’s plans to extend gender pay reporting to the public sector in England, to mirror existing requirements in Scotland and Wales. Women are a vital part of the workforce and any proposals to tackle the gender pay gap must be strong enough to deliver the change everyone wants to see.'


Notes to editors

  • For further information please contact the media office on 0161 829 8102, out of hours 07767 272 818.
  • Section 78 of the Equality Act 2010, which enables government to make regulations requiring companies employing 250 or more people to publish information about differences in the pay of male and female employees, has not been commenced. The new clause will place a duty on the Secretary of State to make the necessary regulations within 12 months of the enactment of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill.
  • The Equality and Human Rights Commission is a statutory body established under the Equality Act 2006. It operates independently to encourage equality and diversity, eliminate unlawful discrimination, and promote and protect human rights. The Commission enforces equality legislation on age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. It encourages compliance with the Human Rights Act 1998 and is accredited by the UN as an ‘A status’ National Human Rights Institution.

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