Gender pay reporting requirement suspended this year

Equalities watchdog says it will not take action against businesses that do not submit data to lessen the burden on organisations responding to coronavirus

Employers will not be obliged to publish their gender pay gaps this year, the UK’s equalities watchdog has announced.

However, the CIPD has encouraged all businesses that are able to still submit their data.

In a statement today, the Government Equalities Office (GEO) said it had decided to suspend enforcement of the gender pay gap deadlines this year in the wake of the challenge presented to employers by coronavirus, meaning it will not investigate any employers failing to report their pay gap.

“The decision means there will be no expectation on employers to report their data,” it said.

The move has been supported by Liz Truss, minister for women and equalities (pictured), and David Isaac, chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

In a joint statement, Truss and Isaac said they “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.”

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Charles Cotton, senior reward and performance adviser at the CIPD, welcomed the reprieve this announcement provided HR departments focusing on protecting their workforce and businesses. But he encouraged employers to still publish their figures if they were in a position to do so.

"Most organisations should already have the gender pay data to hand, so if they are in a position to submit their figures then we would strongly encourage their HR teams to do so, especially if they have a narrative and action plan ready to publish as well,” said Cotton. 

“This will help demonstrate that notwithstanding the current crisis, their employers are looking towards the future and playing their part in creating a fairer workplace.”

So far, more than 3,000 employers have already reported their data for this year – 26 per cent of those expected to report. The GEO said it would continue to provide support for employers that still wanted to report their data.