Regulation

Gender pay gap reporting: setting the standard for the profession

Following the introduction of mandatory gender pay gap reporting in 2017, we have produced best-practice guidance so firms can set the right standards and build a clearer picture from the data.

The guidance includes recommendations on:

  • how firms can fulfil their gender pay gap reporting requirements
  • how to incorporate partner remuneration into the data in a meaningful and comparable way

But it’s up to each firm to decide how to put our recommendations into practice.

Certain firms may decide that aspects of this guidance are not suitable to their own businesses, and that will be a judgement they'll have to make independently.

Read more about mandatory gender pay gap reporting on GOV.UK

Who should report?

Firms with 250 employees or more must report their gender pay gap data every year.

If you do not report on time or if you provide inaccurate information, you could face legal action from the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Smaller firms

We also encourage firms with fewer than 250 employees to report voluntarily if you can, because it shows your commitment to transparency and equality.

Smaller firms will feature on GOV.UK’s gender pay gap portal with a digital badge to show that their report was voluntary.

What to report

The gender pay gap is the difference between the average earnings of men and women, expressed relative to men’s earnings.

You must report:

  • gender pay gap in basic hourly pay
  • gender pay gap in bonuses
  • the proportion of men and women who get bonus payments
  • the proportion of men and women in each pay quartile

You must also include data on all staff based in England, Scotland or Wales and publish a written statement on the accuracy of your calculations.

We recommend you also include:

  • how much partners are paid
  • data on all staff working in subsidiary entities in England, Scotland or Wales
  • a narrative report to give the data context
  • a detailed action plan showing how you’ll address any pay gaps you’ve identified

We also recommend you report the gender pay gap in full-time equivalent total compensation, and collect data on disability, ethnicity and sexuality pay gaps.

Our guidance makes a number of recommendations that go beyond the basic legal requirements.

Below is a table outlining in full the basic reporting requirements and our additional recommendations.

  Required by the regulations Recommended by the Law Society
Firms with at least 250 employees reporting Yes Yes
Firms with fewer than 250 employees reportin   Yes
Include partner remuneration in the data   Yes
Report gender pay gap in basic hourly pay Yes Yes
Report gender pay gap in full time equivalent (FTE) total compensation   Yes
Report gender pay gap in bonuses Yes Yes
Report proportions of males and females receiving bonus payments Yes Yes
Report proportions on males and females in each pay quartile Yes Yes
Include data on all staff based in England, Scotland or Wales Yes Yes
Include data on all staff working in subsidiary entities in England, Scotland or Wales   Yes
Publish a written statement on the accuracy of your calculations Yes Yes
Include a robust narrative report   Yes
Include a detailed action plan   Yes
Collect data on disability, ethnicity and sexuality pay gaps   Yes

Reporting code

When reporting to the National Pay Gap Service, law firms are advised to use the code: SIC 69102 (Solicitors).

This will make benchmarking easier within the sector.

Who can view the data?

The published data is publicly available to:

  • government – to see what progress is being made across the economy
  • employees and employee groups – to hold the business to account
  • individual job seekers – to help make comparisons between potential employers
  • businesses – to inform their pay decisions and internal work on achieving equality

Maximise your Law Society membership with My LS