Gender pay gap reporting: who needs to report

Find out if your organisation needs to report under the Gender Pay Gap regulations

There were some important changes to enforcement of the gender pay gap reporting regulations for the 2019/20 reporting year (which used a snapshot date of either 31 March 2019 or 5 April 2019). For more information please read this press release.

1. Who needs to report?

From 2017, all ‘relevant employers’ must publish and report their gender pay gap information. Your organisation will be a ‘relevant employer’ and must publish and report if it has 250 or more employees who are based in England, Scotland or Wales.

The legal entity that is the ‘relevant employer’ (for example, the private limited company or public sector organisation) must register with and report to the gender pay gap reporting service.

If your organisation is a single ‘relevant employer’ and runs multiple payrolls (for example payrolls for different departments or business functions), you must merge relevant data from all your payrolls and report one set of figures for your organisation.

If you are unclear as to whether your organisation is a ‘relevant employer’ for gender pay gap reporting, it is wise to seek legal advice

2. How should groups of employers report?

Organisations that are part of a group must report individually if they are ‘relevant employers’. Large corporate groups may therefore have a number of employing entities which are required to calculate and report separately.

A group of employers that has published separate reports for a number of legal entities within their corporate structure can also voluntarily report combined figures for the entire group.

3. How do I work out if I have 250 or more employees?

The definition of ‘employee’ for gender pay gap reporting includes:

  • people who have a contract of employment with your organisation
  • workers and agency workers (those with a contract to do work or provide services)
  • some self-employed people (where they must personally perform the work)
  • partners (in traditional partnerships or LLPs) count towards the 250-employee headcount if they have a contract personally to do work, but they don’t have to be included in the calculations.

When to count agency workers and self-employed people in your organisation

If your organisation uses agency workers or service companies, they count as part of the headcount of the agency or service company that provides them - not your organisation.

You must include self-employed people in your organisation’s calculations if they must personally perform work for you and you have the data available, or can reasonably obtain it.

Part-time workers and job-sharing

You must count each part-time worker as one employee for gender pay gap reporting purposes.

If you use job-share arrangements, every employee within a job-share counts as one employee. So, if 2 people job-share, they count as 2 employees for gender pay gap reporting purposes.

When employees have more than one job with your organisation, you can either choose to count them according to how many employment contracts they have or as one employee. Your organisation can choose the most appropriate approach - but it will help the accuracy of your figures if you consistently apply what you decide.

Overseas workers and international jobs

As a general rule, you must count an employee based overseas if they have an employment contract subject to the law of England and Wales, or, Scotland. If you are unclear about whether employees are ‘relevant employees’, it is wise to seek legal advice.

Partners in partnerships

You don’t have to include partners in traditional partnerships and limited liability partnerships in your calculations (although they do count towards the 250 headcount if they have a contract personally to do work). This is because partners take a share of the organisation’s profits, which is not directly comparable with employees’ pay.

4. When should I calculate and report?

There are two sets of regulations which impose the mandatory gender pay gap reporting obligations on employers.

They are nearly identical, and require the same set of calculations but depending on which set of regulations you are covered by you will need to calculate the figures using a different specific reference date – this is called the ‘snapshot date’. The snapshot date each year is:

  • 31 March for most public sector organisations
  • 5 April for businesses and charities (and some public sector organisations)

Deadline for reporting

Organisations must publish within a year of the snapshot date. For example, businesses and charities must publish by 4 April each year. Most public sector organisations must publish by 30 March each year.

5. Which set of regulations is my organisation covered by?

Public sector rules

If your organisation is listed in Schedule 2 to the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties and Public Authorities) Regulations 2017, you must publish and report your gender pay gap data following the public sector rules (using a snapshot date of 31 March). This includes government departments, the armed forces, local authorities, NHS bodies, universities and most schools. Your HR department should be able to tell you if this applies to you.

Private sector rules

All other private, voluntary and public sector employers must follow the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 (using a snapshot date of 5 April). This includes public sector employers which are not listed in Schedule 19 to the Equality Act 2010, who must publish and report under these regulations.


If your organisation is a Scottish or Welsh public authority and you have to comply with the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) (Scotland) Regulations 2012, or the Equality Act 2010 (Statutory Duties) (Wales) Regulations 2011, you don’t need to publish or report under these rules.

Government departments and arms-length bodies

Government departments must publish and report gender pay gap data covering all of their employees - including their executive agencies (as these are the same legal entity). Executive agencies can also voluntarily report for their own organisations.

Arms-length bodies (such as statutory non-departmental bodies) must publish and report as they are separate legal entities from their sponsor department.

Schools and academies

If you’re a school of any kind with 250 or more members of staff, you must report and publish. You won’t be included in your local education authority’s gender pay gap reporting, even if the local authority is the legal employer of staff at the school.

For maintained schools in and out of federations, the governing body is responsible for publishing their own gender pay gap reports. Maintained schools may be foundation, community, voluntary, nursery or special schools.

For academies in and out of chains, and for free schools, the proprietor is responsible for reporting their gender pay gap data, following the public sector regulations and using 31 March as the snapshot date. Independent and private schools should follow the private sector gender pay reporting regulations and use 5 April as the snapshot date. The legal employer must report and publish their gender pay gap data.

6. Can I report voluntarily?

Organisations with fewer than 250 employees, can publish their data voluntarily but are not obliged to do so.

7. What if I fail to publish the gender pay information?

It is a legal requirement for all relevant employers to publish their gender pay gap information. Failing to do this within one year of the snapshot date is unlawful.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has the power to enforce any failure to comply with the regulations

Employers will also run a reputational risk if they fail to publish the information, and in many cases the suspicions behind why an employer failed to publish their gender pay gap could have a negative impact and be far worse than what would have been shown by the report.

8. Where can I find more information and support?

You can get advice on managing your organisation’s gender pay gap from the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) website.

Acas offers:

  • practical guidance on identifying gender pay issues and improving them
  • training courses and events on calculating your organisation’s gender pay gap
  • tools and support to communicate with your employees about gender pay issues

You can find more information and support on the government’s gender pay gap campaign page.

9. How can I tell you I am out of scope?

The Government Equalities Office will be writing to all employers required to report their gender pay gap information under these regulations. If you have received a letter, but these regulations do not apply to you for this reporting year, you may wish to tell us you are not in scope by emailing us at

10. How can I report my gender pay gap information.

Whether or not you have received a letter from the Government Equalities Office, if you need to report you can register and publish your information on the government gender pay service . You will also need to publish it in a prominent place on your organisation’s website.

Published 28 September 2017
Last updated 25 March 2020 + show all updates
  1. New advice in light of COVID-19.

  2. First published.