Regulations issued in 2017 implementing the United Kingdom’s (U.K.) 2010 Equity Act required all employers with at least 250 employees working in Great Britain (England, Scotland or Wales) to report data on the gender pay gap within their companies by April 4, 2018. Over 8,000 private sector employers, including numerous multinational corporations with operations in the United States have submitted gender pay gap data in compliance with the regulations.

The reports, which had to be uploaded to a public government website, include data points in four categories: (1) mean and median difference in hourly rates of pay; (2) proportion of women in each “pay quartile,” from highest to lowest paid; (3) proportion of men and women receiving bonus pay; and (4) difference in mean and median bonus pay.

According to the U.K. government, its gender pay gap reporting regulations (referred to as the “GPGR”) are aimed to “encourage businesses to analyse the causes of any gender-based pay and bonus gaps and factors influencing the salary progression of women.” Oddly, however, the regulations provide no mechanism for companies to adjust the pay gap figures based on any number of legitimate factors affecting pay, other than permitting them to include more detail in a “written statements” that must be posted to their websites along with their data submissions.

Notably, these detailed explanatory reports prepared by many companies in fact illustrate how misleading it can be to rely only on raw pay gap figures in attempting to explain the cause or causes for wage differentials within individual companies, and reinforce that many factors can and do impact how much individual employees in the private sector get paid relative to their peers, regardless of gender.

The pay gap reports are available via the “gender pay gap viewing service,” which can be found here.

Members of the Center for Workplace Compliance (CWC) can read more here.