Government announces six-month grace period for gender pay gap reporting
The Government has announced a six-month grace period for employers to submit their 2020/2021 gender pay gap report. They now have until 5 October 2021 to submit their report.
Gender pay gap reporting requirements
Employers with 250 or more employees must publish their gender pay gap data. The gender pay gap is the difference between the average earnings of men and women across an organisation.
Mandatory reporting was suspended in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, the Government confirmed that reporting is required for 2020/2021, so relevant organisations need to prepare their reports.
The original reporting deadlines were:
- Public sector - 30 March 2021 (with the report containing a snapshot of their gender pay gap data on 31 March 2020)
- Private sector - 4 April 2021 (with the report containing a snapshot of their gender pay gap data on 5 April 2020).
Six-month grace period announced
The Government has announced a 6-month grace period, confirming that no enforcement action will be taken by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (“EHRC”) until 5 October 2021. Employers therefore have until this date to submit their report.
Covid-19’s impact on reporting figures
This year’s reporting is complicated by Covid-19 and employers potentially having furloughed staff at the ‘snapshot date’. The Equality and Human Rights Commission’s guidance confirms:
- Employees furloughed on the snapshot date must be included when working out whether the business meets the 250-employee threshold which requires it to publish a report
- Employees furloughed on the snapshot date must be included for any bonus pay calculations
- Employees not in receipt of full pay on the snapshot date should not be included in the report for the purposes of hourly pay calculations. Therefore, unless furloughed employees received top-up pay bringing them up to 100% of pay, they are excluded from the calculations
If staff were furloughed at the snapshot date, Covid-19 might skew organisations’ 2020/2021 gender pay gap reports. As a result, meaningful analysis of this year’s reporting will be more difficult. For example, if most lower paid, non-managerial staff are women furloughed on reduced pay, the business might have a much smaller or negative gender pay gap this year compared to previous years.
Organisations are encouraged to explain in their narrative if their gender pay gaps are skewed. To make the figures more meaningful, the narrative could include alternative figures that would have been produced had employees not been on furlough at the snapshot date.
Despite the extension, organisations could choose to meet the original Spring deadlines to emphasise their commitment to equality in the workplace. However, for those struggling to compile their reports with other pressing demands already placed on them by the pandemic, this grace period will be welcome.
Doyle Clayton’s employment experts can assist if you need any help with your gender pay gap reporting or producing an accompanying narrative.
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