In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Government Equalities Office (GEO) and the Equality & Human Rights Commission (EHRC) have confirmed that the enforcement of the gender pay gap reporting deadlines will be suspended for the current reporting year 2019-2020.
Gender pay gap reporting legislation was introduced in 2017 and requires businesses with 250 or more employees to publish statutory calculations, to display how large the pay gap is between their male and female employees, on an annual basis. For public sector bodies, the deadline for reporting this data would have been the 30 March 2020 and, for private companies, it would have been the 4 April 2020.
Minister for Women & Equalities, Liz Truss, and EHRC Chair, David Isaac, presented a joint statement explaining:
“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."
At this difficult time, this news ensures that employers do not have the responsibility to provide their gender pay gap data. Some employers will view not having to report their gender pay gap as a breather to allow them to focus on urgent tasks aimed at protecting their business and workforce; however, when normality returns, it is suggested that employers return their attention to this matter in order to play their part in creating a fairer workplace.
According to the Gov.UK website, around 3000 employers have already submitted their data for this tax year, and the GEO will continue to support and assist employers still wishing to report their data voluntarily.