Gender Pay Gap investigations to begin in June

14 May 2018

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (“the Commission”), have warned that they will commence their ‘first tranche of investigations’ in early June.

A letter to Nicky Morgan, Chair of the Treasury Committee, from the Commission’s CEO, Rebecca Hilsenrath, reinforces the Commission’s pledge to act against employers that are not willing to comply with their Gender Pay Gap obligations.

The letter can be found here.

The Commission published their document, Enforcing the Gender Pay Gap regulations, on the 26th March which states that employers could face an unlimited fine for failing to comply with the regulations. The fine is emphasised in the letter from the Commission along with the next step for non-compliant public-sector employers.


The next step for non-compliant employers involves an investigation under section 20 of The Equality Act 2006. This will establish whether the employer under investigation has acted unlawfully. If this is the case, an unlawful act notice will be issued to the employer. If the notice is not addressed compliantly, the Commission will apply for a court order requiring the employer to do so. Breach of this court order could result in the employer being faced with an unlimited fine.

Since 9th April 2018, the Commission have received a significant response of 400 employers reporting their Gender Pay Gap data or stating that they are not within the scope of the regulations. However, it has been revealed that over 1500 companies missed the Gender Pay Gap deadline on 4th May.

Named and shamed

The Commission stated in the letter that they will be publishing the details of employers that reach the investigation stage and publish a final report of conclusions made at the end of the investigations. These will be available on the Commission’s website for the public and the media to view.

Aspire Comment

The Commission seem to be wasting no time in initiating investigations into private sector employers that they believe to be non-compliant. The naming and shaming of those that get to the investigation stage poses great reputational risk for employers that are yet to meet their obligations.     

If you are concerned about your obligations under the Gender Pay Gap regulations or if you need assistance with your company’s compliance, give Aspire a call to discuss how we can help.