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Gender Pay Reporting: we urge the Government not to remove the requirement

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Gender Pay Reporting: we urge the Government not to remove the requirement

Posted by Emer Bucukoglu on 11 February 2021

In 2020, the obligation on employers with 250 or more employees to report their last set of gender pay gap statistics was suspended in light of the uncertainty and additional pressures placed on businesses by the coronavirus outbreak. This was a disappointing and concerning decision made by the Government Equalities Office (GEO) and the Equality and Human Rights Commission. In the end, roughly 6,000 employers reported their data anyway, compared to nearly 11,000 the previous year.

With no suggestion that gender pay gap reporting would also be suspended for the reporting year 2020/21 it is highly probable that employers prepared to report this year despite the likely impact in some cases that some of their employees may have been furloughed or on reduced pay at the point of the snapshot date.  The general recommendation to employers this year is to run their reports and see what the data looks like,  in fact run the reports twice, with a version that includes furloughed staff at their usual rate of pay and a version that excludes them. 

It is therefore disappointing to witness the rumour mill starting up again on this matter with increased implication that this years’ round of reporting will also be suspended. 

We believe the Government’s potential action to suspend further weakens the journey on achieving Gender Pay parity. Organisations should do all they can to still submit their data not least to understand the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on gender pay, particularly the disproportionate impact it is having on women.

We simply cannot afford to suspend Gender pay gap reporting for another year. The whole purpose of it is to understand and track the changing representation of men and women across the pay architecture of the organisation. At a time when, due to COVID-19, more women are leaving the workplace, reporting will help companies to understand where they should be targeting their focus.

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