Employment Law Changes & Gender Pay Audit

April will see the deadline for gender pay audits, rises in statutory pay rates, the National Living Wage and the end of Fit for Work assessments.

The Statutory Maternity Pay, Statutory Paternity Pay and Shared Parental Pay levels will rise to £145.18 per week (up from £140.98) from 9th April. Statutory Sick Pay will go up to £92.05 per week (up from £89.35).

The National Living Wage will rise to £7.83 for those aged 25 and above from 1st April. For 21-24 year olds it will be £7.38 per hour (up from £7.05); for 18-20 year olds it will be £5.90 per hour (up from £5.60) and for 16-17 year olds it will be £4.20 per hour (up from £4.05). Apprentices aged 16-18 and those over 19 in their first year of apprenticeship will get £3.70 per hour (up from £3.50).

The redundancy cap will also increase to £508 per week and the cap on compensation for unfair dismissal will go up to £98,922.

In addition Fit for Work assessments will cease. The Fit for Work referral service provided free access to an occupational health professional for people who were off work for four weeks or more. It was scrapped due to low uptake by employers.

Gender Pay

By April 2018, large and mid-sized companies in the UK must:

  • Publish their median gender pay gap figures, which compare the pay of the man and woman who are at the mid-point of the company payroll.
  • Show the percentage of a woman’s hourly rate of pay and bonus pay (on both a mean and median basis) is either higher or lower than a man’s.
  • Publish their mean gender pay gap figures – produced by dividing the total payroll by the number of workers.
  • Publish the gender pay gaps for bonuses.
  • All organisations employing more than 250 staff will need to have completed their first gender pay audit. There is currently no obligation for companies to explain the gender pay gap.
  • Gender pay gap reporting must appear both on an organisation’s own website and on the government’s gender pay gap website.

Mandatory gender pay gap reporting

The gender pay gap is the difference between the average earnings of men and women, expressed relative to men’s earnings. For example, ‘women earn 15% less than men per hour’.

Employers must publish their gender pay gap data and a written statement on their public-facing website.  Report their data to government online – using the gender pay gap reporting service.

If your organisation has fewer than 250 employees, it can publish voluntarily but is not obliged to do so.

The figures must be calculated using a specific reference date – this is called the ‘snapshot date’. The snapshot date each year is:

  • 31 March for public sector organisations
  • 5 April for businesses and charities

Organisations must publish within a year of the snapshot date. For example, businesses and charities must publish by 4 April each year. Public sector organisations must publish by 30 March each year.

Who counts as an ‘employee’

The definition of ‘employee’ for gender pay gap reporting includes:

  • people who have a contract of employment with your organisation
  • workers and agency workers (those with a contract to do work or provide services)
  • some self-employed people (where they must personally perform the work)
  • You must count each part-time worker as one employee for gender pay gap reporting purposes.

Did you know……

The UK gender pay gap is 18.1% for all workers, or 9.4% for full-time staff.

About half of the UK workforce will be affected by the new reporting rules, which encompass 9,000 employers and more than 15 million employees.

If employers fail to comply by the April 2018 deadline, they will be contacted by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission.

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