The Government Equalities Office (GEO) and the Equality and Human Right Commission (EHRC) have suspended gender pay gap reporting regulations for this year, due to the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.
The decision announced today (24 March 2020) means that there will be no expectation for employers to report their gender pay gaps for the 2019/20 reporting year.
The gender pay gap reporting regulations require organisations with 250 or more employees to publish the differences in mean and median hourly rates of pay for male and female full-time employees, the gap in mean and median bonus pay, the proportions of male and female employees awarded bonus pay, and the proportions of male and female staff in the lower, lower middle, upper middle and upper quartile pay bands.
In a joint statement, Liz Truss, minister for women and equalities, and David Issac, chair at EHRC, said: “We recognise that employers across the country are facing unprecedented uncertainty and pressure at this time. Because of this we feel it is only right to suspend enforcement of gender pay gap reporting this year.”
Charles Cotton, senior reward advisor at the CIPD said: “The Government’s decision to relax this year’s gender pay gap reporting deadline is testimony to the incredible and unprecedented pressure that organisations, and the HR profession in particular, are under. Keeping our workforces safe and paid, as well as supporting new working practices to help businesses survive, must remain the priority throughout this crisis.
“Given the reporting data is based on a snapshot date in April last year, most employers will already have the data already, and most of their narrative too. It should just be a question of delaying their reporting to when the current crisis has passed.
“Longer term, we urge companies to continue to honour their reporting commitments. The Coronavirus stands to have a disproportionate impact on women in the labour market, because of the high proportion of women working in retail and hospitality. This makes it more important than ever that we don’t take our eye off the ball and risk losing momentum in our efforts to close the gender pay gap.”