Gender pay reporting has ‘never been more important’

22 September 2021 | Thoughts and Opinions

Gender pay reporting has ‘never been more important’

Companies with 250 or more members of staff now have just a few days to report their gender pay gap information. Those who fail to meet the October 1 deadline could face enforcement action, including court proceedings and an unlimited fine.

Ella Bond, from Harper James Solicitors, which specialises in supporting ambitious businesses, has urged all relevant companies to report their information as soon as possible.

She said: ‘In many ways this issue has never been more important. The Covid-19 pandemic has had a particularly big impact on women. Largely because of the sectors which were badly affected by the pandemic predominantly employing female staff and also because of female staff having undertaken the majority of childcare responsibilities through the lockdowns. Furlough is also likely to have had a big impact on a company’s pay data.

‘It’s vital that businesses take this opportunity to reflect on and give transparency as to how their current pay structure looks. This will help to drive change in the event of any gender inequality being identified.

‘This is particularly key at this time as the effects of the pandemic rumble on. Businesses now only have two weeks to meet the deadline, although they are encouraged to submit their report sooner if possible.

‘Companies who are unsure how to compile a report, or who need further support, should seek expert advice to ensure they are complying with the law.’

New rules around gender pay reporting were announced earlier this year.

Due to the continued effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, enforcement action against employers failing to report their gender pay gap will start on 5 October 2021, the Equality and Human rights Commission (EHRC) announced. Enforcement for the reporting year 2019/20 was suspended in March 2020 at the start of pandemic.

If you need support with your gender pay reporting, you can find our comprehensive guide Mind the gap: gender pay gap reporting explained on our website.

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