What are the Gender Pay Gap Regulations in the UK?

What does the UK legislation state?

The Gender Pay Gap Regulations, otherwise known as the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 came into force in the UK in April 2017. The regulations require all private and voluntary-sector employers with 250 or more employees to publish data on their gender pay gap. Broadly similar rules apply in the public sector under the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties and Public Authorities) Regulations 2017.

Gapsquare recommends that you use the legislation to do an in depth analysis of the gender pay gap and build data driven plans to narrow the gap. Companies which take effective action to address the challenges identified by reporting on the gap see increased return on investment, market share, and higher staff retention.

At Gapsquare, we can help you through all steps and give you access to our top of the class software so that you can monitor progress on gender pay gap and be ready to report again next year.

What information do you need to report on?

The information must be published on both the employer’s website and on a designated government website.

The 6 key figures on which you will have to report are:

  • Average gender pay gap as a mean average*
  • Average gender pay gap as a median average**
  • Average bonus gender pay gap as a mean average
  • Average bonus gender pay gap as a median average
  • Proportion of male and female employees receiving bonus payments
  • Proportion of male and female employees by quartiles (ie. when divided into four groups ordered from lowest to highest pay)

* The mean average: an average which involves adding up all of the numbers and dividing the result by how many numbers were in the list

** The median average: an average which involves listing all of the numbers in numerical order. If there is an odd number of results, the median average is the middle number. If there is an even number of results, the median will be the mean of the two central numbers

What’s the difference between the Gender Pay Gap and Equal Pay?

Equal pay deals with the pay differences between men and women who carry out the same jobs, similar jobs or work of equal value. Paying people unequally because they are a man or a woman is illegal.

The gender pay gap shows the differences in the average pay between men and women.

For more information on Equal Pay, check out our page on Equal Pay Audits here.

Gender Pay Gap Reporting around the World


The principle of equal pay for equal work was introduced in 1969 and in 1972 is was expanded to encompass equal pay for work of equal value.  Though Gender Pay Gap statistics are collected, they are published as national and industry averages, rather than by company.


The 1979 Equal Treatment Act has regulated equal treatment of women and men in the work place and has since been extended to include discrimination on the grounds of ethnicity, religion/beliefs, age and sexual orientation.  In 2011 measures were introduced with the aim to improve income transparency between men and women.


Belgium has been at the forefront of reducing the gender pay gap.  The government in 2012 passed a law which made it mandatory for the gender pay gap to be specifically taken into account when unions and employers are negotiating their wage agreements.  It also requires that the Federal Labour Service sign off job classifications on the basis of their

gender neutrality. They have also introduced strict rules for companies with 50 employees or more to report on their gender pay gap every two years.


The Pay Equality Act requires employers to ensure men and women receive equal pay for work of equal value. Legislation differs by province. An act passed in Ontario in 2019 requires companies with 100+ employees to publish their Gender Pay Gap statistics by May 2021, and companies with 250% employees by May 2020.


Finland started to publish pay analyses of government jobs in 2012. The New Government Programme in July 2019 promises amendments of gender equality laws, including legislation surrounding pay transparency and equal family related leave. In 2020, draft legislation was submitted to consolidate parental leave, and is expected to be finalised and come into force in 2021.


2006 Act on Equal Pay requires companies to report on salaries and plans to close the gender pay gap.

In 2018 the French Parliament passed a law named ‘For the Freedom to Choose One’s Professional Future.’  This introduced several requirements for companies, including transparency requirements to reveal gender pay gaps for companies with over 250 employees, and as of 2020, for companies with 50+ employees.


2017 legislation requires companies with 200+ employees to provide information surrounding remuneration and justification of any discrepancies to their employees. Companies with 500+ employees are encourages, though not legally obliged, to conduct a Gender Pay Gap audit, and must publish a report regarding gender equality and equal pay every 3 years.

of operational review procedures and safeguards to ensure compliance with equal pay, starting in 2018. They will also be encouraged to implement internal audits of their pay structures.


In 2017, Iceland took its efforts to close the gender wage gap even further: it became the first country in the world to introduce legislation requiring companies to prove that they pay men and women equally.

By 2022, employers with 25+ employees will have to undergo audits to certify that they are complying with equal pay laws.

The hope is that by strengthening enforcement of enforcement of existing laws, the new legislation will close the gap in five years.


Portugal passed measures in 2019 to try to understand and reduce the gender pay gap. All companies are required to have a transparent compensation policy based on an objective evaluation of job level tenure, attendance and other factors. Employers with 250+ employees must submit an annual assessment of their gender pay gap, an action a plan for eliminating the gap during the coming year, and a progress report on the previous year.


An act passed in 1963 requires employers to comply with equal pay. In April 2019, the Pay Fairness Act was passed in the House Democrats. This bill would require companies to share how much they’re paying employees and justify any salary differences though the bill faces an uphill battle in the Senate where it has previously lost three times. Some states require employees to collect wage gap data.


Legislation passed in 2020 requires companies with 50+ employees to submit their pay figures, evaluate their gender positioning, and implement gender equality plans. Companies must keep a wage register by professional category and gender, which should be available for employee representatives to review.

Register on the government portal

Identify the data you would like to analyse

Analyse your data and get insights

Build a narrative explaining the gender pay gap

Develop an action plan to narrow the gap

Report and communicate your numbers and plans

Ready to Step into the Future of Fair Pay?

If you are ready to calculate your gender pay gap, please consult our helpful manual for some guidance on how to make the process quick and easy.