NEWS5 March 2021

Gender pay gap enforcement delayed for six months

Covid-19 News Public Sector UK

UK – Mandatory gender pay gap reporting will resume from October this year, the government’s Equality and Human rights Commission (EHRC) has said.

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Companies employing 250 or more people are required by law to publish their gender pay gap figures – the difference between the average (mean or median) earnings of men and women across a workforce – but enforcement was suspended in March 2020 due to Covid-19.

Businesses will once again be required to report their figures this year, but enforcement action will not be taken until 5th October 2021.

The EHRC encouraged employers to submit data earlier where possible.

Baroness Kishwer Falkner, chair of the commission, said: “Starting our legal process in October strikes the right balance between supporting businesses and enforcing these important regulations.

“Taking action to reduce the gender pay gap must continue. Reporting provides an opportunity for employers to demonstrate their commitment to gender equality, which will be more important than ever as the effects of the pandemic continue. Employers should still report their gender pay gap data for 2020/21 on time if they can and we encourage them to demonstrate the steps they are taking to reduce long-term pay gaps through detailed action plans.”

The move follows a campaign and petition from Women in Advertising and Communications London (Wacl), alongside other organisations including the CMI and the Fawcett Society. 

Jackie Stevenson, president of Wacl and founding partner and chief executive, The Brooklyn Brothers, said: “We’re delighted by the EHRC news that mandatory gender pay gap reporting will be reinstated. We look forward to no further delay and the good news that ethnicity and disability pay gap reports will be coming next. Diversity is good for business and must be more front of mind as the economy opens up and we build back better.”