Inaccurate gender pay gap information - enforcement action being taken by EHRC
We are getting reports that the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is actively checking gender pay gap information published by employers on the government’s website. If it considers the information is inaccurate, for example because it is “statistically improbable”, it is writing to the employer to ask for a breakdown showing each full-pay relevant employee along with their gender and hourly pay so that it can assess this. The EHRC is also checking that gender pay gap information is also published on the employer’s own website.
The Government Equalities Office recently reported that 100% of employers identified as within the scope of the gender pay reporting regulations have published their data. Although the regulations themselves do not provide for any power to check the accuracy of the data provided (or in fact any consequences for non-compliance), the EHRC considers that its general powers of investigation under the Equality Act 2010 cover this. Although it is legally questionable whether this is the case it is unlikely that any employer will want to challenge this given the potential negative publicity for doing so.
Any letter received from the EHRC should not be ignored or taken lightly. Their enforcement powers include launching a formal investigation, with the details being made public and published on their website. Any continued breach could lead to court action and an unlimited fine.
Going forward, the message to employers is to ensure the data they provide is accurate and to seek advice on any aspect which is unclear.
For more information, please contact Clare Davis.