This year, in light of coronavirus pressures, organisations were given a six-month extension to the 2020/2021 gender pay gap reporting deadline.
There are now less than three months left until you must submit your report at midnight on 4 October 2021, or risk having legal action taken against you.
We know that many employers have already submitted their figures well ahead of this deadline and are busy probing their data to understand what action they need to take to support women in their workplace. This is fantastic and reflects a lot of good practice we have seen when talking to forward-thinking businesses.
If you haven’t done so yet, we’ve set out five reasons why you shouldn’t wait until the October deadline:
- You are showing that you care about women in your workplace
Reporting early means you can focus on making sure that your staff, shareholders and clients know that you are taking action to close your gender pay gap.
This has been no ordinary year for any employer and your action plan and narrative that you have developed for gender pay gap reporting in previous years may need a refresh.
Many roles have changed during the pandemic, and there is strong evidence that shows women have borne the brunt of this. Some working mothers have had to reduce their hours to manage childcare and women may have lower take-home pay as a result. Women typically occupy lower-paid roles than men, and these roles have been left vulnerable to redundancies or reduced hours.
These changes may have increased the size of your gender pay gap, meaning new goals or targets may be needed to address these specific issues.
- You won’t fall behind your competitors
Several thousand employers have already published their gender pay gaps. The information is searchable by sector and company name. Your employees (and competitors) can check if you have published or not and hold you to account. Furthermore, potential new employees can also view the size of your pay gap and what you plan to do to close it.
- You will need to understand what impact furlough has had
Calculations this year may need more careful analysis than usual.
If you have furloughed staff for all or part of the year, you should devote time to getting this right and not risk making mistakes at the last minute.
Check out the EHRC website which offers practical guidance on how to reflect furloughed staff in your reporting.
- You don’t want to run the reputational risk of legal action
In 2019 the Equality and Human Rights Commission publicly named 50 employers that failed to report their gender pay gap information. In five of these cases, this led to a lengthy investigation and for 14 employers, they had to sign legally binding agreements with us. This is both time and resource-intensive for businesses and can damage your reputation with staff, clients and customers.
- You may need to declare yourself out of scope
If you no longer have 250 employees, then you should declare your business out of scope on the government’s portal as soon as possible.
There are many reasons why gender pay gap reporting matters; to employers, to employees and society more broadly, and this year it matters more than ever.