Gender pay gap annual report and guidance documents
The Government Equalities Office (GEO) published its annual report on employers' understanding of the gender pay gap.
The report is based on research conducted shortly after the deadline for employers to publish their second set of gender pay gap data in 2019. Enforcement of the gender pay gap reporting deadline for the 2019/2020 reporting year was suspended due to the pandemic.
89% of respondents to the research reported a "good understanding" of gender pay reporting obligations, while 81% reported little or no staff reaction to publication of their gender pay gap data. The research found that only 23% of employers identified their gender pay gap as a high priority issue. It also found that employers rarely reported a direct link between diagnosis of the reasons for their gender pay gap and the development of specific actions to close any gap. This was because, in many cases, by diagnosing the causes of their gender pay gap, employers were able to reassure themselves that they were not inadvertently treating women unfairly.
The report states that 88% of employers prepared information to supplement their gender pay gap data and, in 73% of cases this included an explanation of the reasons for any gap. 44% of actions taken by employers resulting from their gender pay gap reporting were focused on offering or promoting flexible working, however the development of dedicated actions to close any gender pay gap remains relatively uncommon. The report states that only 47% of employers reported that their board were taking action to address any gender pay gap.
In the meantime the GEO has launched a series of guidance documents to support employers through the process of gender pay reporting. The documents cover a range of issues employers may face when compiling and publishing their reports.
Employers with 250 or more employees will be required to report their 2020 gender pay gap data by 4 April 2021. This follows a one-off suspension last year due to COVID-19.