Equal Pay - DAC Beachcroft

Equal Pay

Equal pay and gender pay are issues all employers need to grapple with. The two concepts are often confused, but they are not the same thing. Employers might have a bigger than average gender pay gap, but no equal pay issue. Alternatively an organisation may have equal pay issues, but a limited gender pay gap. Getting your messages across to the workforce is a vital part of any employer's diversity strategy, in addition to reducing the likelihood of grievances and claims from employees.

Since the passing of the Equality Act 2010 reducing the gender pay gap has been very much on the Government's agenda. Initial steps included the introduction of a voluntary reporting regime, and a new power for tribunals to order employers found to have been in breach of equal pay law to carry out equal pay audits in certain circumstances. The most recent development is the creation of a new requirement for all commercial organisations with 250 or more employees to publish data about the impact of gender on its pay and bonus policies. The public sector already has a duty to report on equality issues, including pay and gender statistics, but gender pay reporting will be extended to them too.

What we do

DAC Beachcroft has been at the forefront of advising on, and litigating these matters over the past decade. We advised our financial services clients back in 2009 when the EHRC made enquiries about sex discrimination and the gender pay gap in their sector. We have successfully defended thousands of equal pay claims for our NHS clients, shaping that national litigation through the test cases we have run. We have also been working with the GEO to shape the gender pay reporting regulations. 

Detailed elements of our services

Gender pay reporting

The Gender Pay Regulations require organisations in scope to publish their mean and median gender pay gap, mean gender bonus gap and bonus information and the number of men and women in each quartile of the organisation’s pay distribution from April 2017 onwards.

We are working with clients to assist them with:

  • Understanding exactly what their gender pay reporting requirements are;
  • Analysing their data and any presenting legal, commercial and reputational risks using the benefit of legal privilege;
  • Considering what additional information they may wish to publish to give context to the headline figures;
  • Internal messaging to stave off any grievances and claims from employees about perceived unequal pay once the data is published;
  • Communications strategy to limit any reputational damage that might follow from publishing a large gender pay, or bonus gap.

Equal pay experience

Our team has extensive experience of handling the 'sharp end' of pay equality issues for our clients. We provide pragmatic commercially-focused advice designed to keep our clients safe from legal challenge. We assist our clients by:

  • Providing step-by-step guidance on the right equal pay policy;
  • Analysing their current pay scheme and assessing the risks;
  • Advising on what a new pay structure might look like;
  • Defending equal pay claims.

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