Gender pay gap digital service to be expanded in £1.6m project

New features to be added in bid to help government and businesses take action on pay inequality

The Government Equalities Office is seeking a partner for a £1.6m one-year project to improve and expand the gender pay gap online service.

The work will see new features and functions added to the service, as the government looks to tap into “the potential of the service as a tool for driving action to close the gender pay gap”. 

The service, which has been live since March 2017, allows employers to submit their gender pay gap information. Individuals can also use the service to search for and access data.

According to a newly published contract notice on the Digital Marketplace, the government wishes to improve the site and ensure that it is “actively encouraging and incentivising employers to publish action plans”. It also wants to make it easier for businesses to compare themselves with their peers and better understand what actions they could take to close their gender pay gap.

Employees should also be able to easily find out information about their employer’s gender pay gap, the contract notice said, to help “influence them to close it”. The government also wants policymakers to “use the data and feedback from the service to inform policy development”.

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To help make these goals a reality, the Government Equalities Office is seeking an “agile delivery partner” that could assist in the development of new functionality, as well as providing day-to-day support of existing features.

The GEO is seeking to appoint a supplier for a one-year contract scheduled to commence by 17 September. The deal will be worth up to £1.62m to the winning bidder.

Bids are open until midnight on 9 August, after which up to three suppliers are expected to be evaluated. The chosen firm will join “a blended team of permanent civil servants and external partners”. Work will take place at the headquarters of the Government Equalities Office in central London.

Development of the gender pay gap service began in September 2016, and went into public beta six months later – a year ahead of the April 2018 deadline for employers to file their annual gender pay gap data for the first time. More than 10,000 public and private sector organisations provided data in the service’s first year of operation.

The deadline for employers to file gender pay gap data for their 2018 fiscal year is in spring 2019.

Annual gender pay gap reporting is now mandatory for all companies or public-sector entities with more than 250 employees who are based in England, Scotland, or Wales. Data that must be reported includes mean and median gaps in hourly pay and bonuses, and the proportion of men and women who received a bonus in the year in question. Employers are also required to report the ratio of men to women in each pay quartile – from the highest paid 25% of their workforce down to the lowest.

Sam Trendall

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