Posted by Lauren Harkin, Partner
Watch out for the gender pay gap reporting deadline
After the suspension in 2020, gender pay gap reporting is back. Our employment lawyers look at deadlines and potential issues, and explain why 2021 figures may be significantly skewed.
Reporting in 2020
In March last year, in an attempt to ease pressure on businesses as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government suspended the enforcement of the gender pay reporting deadline. The effect of this was that less than 50% of employers published their gender pay gap data.
Reporting in 2021
There is, as yet, no suggestion of a further suspension of the enforcement deadline this year, and businesses must therefore presume that they will have to submit their gender pay gap data by 4 April 2021, or 30 March 2021 for public authorities.
Impact of furlough
Whilst the deadline for reporting is 4 April 2021, the relevant snapshot date for the data is 5 April 2020. This will be problematic for a significant number of businesses who will have had significant numbers of employees furloughed on 5 April 2020. Whilst the legislation and government guidance is clear – that employees who receive a reduced rate of pay as a result of being on leave during the relevant pay period should be discounted from the gender pay calculations – the problem this creates is that unless employers were topping up the pay of furloughed staff to full pay, all furloughed staff on 5 April 2020 will not be included in the gender pay data. Interestingly, furloughed staff will still be included in the bonus calculations.
An unclear picture
This means that the 2021 gender pay gap figures will be completely skewed, with lots of figures not reflecting the businesses’ actual pay gap at all.
It may therefore be sensible to generate gender pay gap figures for an earlier pay period before furloughed leave was introduced, in addition to the April 2020 pay period, and refer to the earlier statistics in the narrative submitted with your report. This will be particularly important if large number of your workforce were furloughed in April 2020.
if you are an employer with 250 or more employees on the snapshot date, you must comply with the regulations on gender pay gap reporting. Don’t miss your 2021 deadline!
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