21 September 2021 #Employment
Due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, employers were given a six month extension for publishing their gender pay gap information for 2020/2021.
The Government confirmed enforcement action for failing to report (or providing inaccurate information) would be suspended until 5 October 2021, meaning employers have until 4 October 2021 to publish their information. This date is fast approaching and so employers need to ensure they are ready.
What information has to be provided?
Since April 2017, private and voluntary sector employers with 250 employees or more have been required to publish gender pay gap information each year.
The information to be published is as follows:
This information must be accompanied by a written statement signed by an appropriate person (usually a director, partner or senior officer at the company) confirming the information’s accuracy. Employers also have the opportunity to add narrative to the report if they want to explain any of the information.
Pay, for this purpose, includes basic pay, allowances, pay for piecework, pay for leave (provided the leave is on full pay) and shift premiums. It does not include payments for overtime, redundancy (or other termination payments), pay in lieu of leave, benefits in kind (including any salary sacrifice arrangement) or expenses. Bonus pay, for this purpose, can be in the form of money, vouchers, securities, securities options or interests in securities and must relate to profit sharing, productivity, performance, incentive or commission. Bonus pay does not include remuneration for overtime, redundancy or any other termination payment.
Deadline for reporting
Employers must analyse their gender pay gap on 5 April each year (known as the ‘snapshot date’) and publish the required information within 12 months of this date. The information must be published on the employer’s own public-facing website (which must be kept available for three years) and must also be published on the Government’s website (www.gov.uk/report-gender-pay-gap-data).
In line with the above, the deadline for such reporting is 4 April each year. However, reporting for 2020/2021 was extended to 4 October due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Employers who do not report on time (or report inaccurate data) can face court orders and fines. There is also the reputational risk to consider here, given that a failure to report (or submission of inaccurate information) is likely to lead to the assumption that the organisation is hiding a gender pay gap.
Regardless of the deadline, there are benefits for employers in preparing their reports soon after the snapshot date each year (instead of waiting 12 months). In particular, this gives employers ample time to tackle unexpected issues. If gaps are exposed, employers can take steps to improve its position before the next snapshot date arrives which helps to avoid the risk of the next year’s report showing no improvement.
For further legal advice on the gender pay gap and any other employment law issues contact our experienced employment lawyers.