New regulations that will require private sector employers to publish annual data on their gender pay gap have come into force.

The rules – which will be enforced by the Equality and Human Rights Commission – require UK companies with 250 or more employees to provide data on their gender pay gap by April 2018.

They’ll also need to publish information on the proportion of male and female employees in different pay bands, their gender bonus gap, and a breakdown of how many women and men get a bonus.


The legislation will affect around 9,000 companies, who collectively employ more than 15 million people.

In 2016 the gender pay gap stood at 18.1%, the ethnicity pay gap at 5.7%, and the disability pay gap at 13.6%.

In August, Professional Jeweller reported that men in the retail and wholesale sector are paid an average of £4,523 more a year than women.

Figures released by the Chartered Management Institute also found 14% of men in management roles were promoted into higher positions compared to 10% of women.

Male managers are 40% more likely than female managers to be promoted into higher roles.


  1. As with all businesses, there may be a number of reasons why retailers’ gender pay data could look unfavourable at first glance. The analysis required is not a like for like comparison based on individual roles and, therefore, the figures may be distorted by the fact that a business has, for example, a greater proportion of men than women working in higher management positions.

    As such, whilst there is no obligation to publish an accompanying narrative explaining the data, retailers should consider doing so to give some context to the information provided.

    Whilst April 2018 may seem a long way off, the reports must be based on pay data as at 5 April 2017 and any retailers with large gender pay gaps should start thinking now about how to address them and how to communicate the reasons for the disparity.

    Parissa Torabi
    Fashion Law Group
    Fox Williams LLP