4 April 2022 deadline
The gender pay gap reporting deadline is fast approaching: 4 April 2022 for private employers and 30 March 2022 for most public authority employers. As at 28 March 2022, 5,135 employers had submitted their gender pay gap data. By way of comparison, 10,536 employers submitted their pay gap data for 2020-2021.
Employers with a headcount of 250 or more on the "snapshot date" must comply with the regulations. The snapshot date for 2021-2022 statistics is 5 April 2021 for private employers. Employers who had furloughed employees on less than full pay on 5 April 2021 are entitled to exclude these employees from their gender pay gap and salary quartile band calculations, which may therefore not be properly representative. As a result, employers may wish to consider carefully whether to run additional calculations based on the hypothetical scenario that employees had not been furloughed, and either include those results in their report or in a supplementary update on their website. Doing so will provide a more accurate picture of the data and help drive accountability and action. For more information on the impact of COVID-19 on gender pay gap statistics, please see our articles published in the Employment Law Journal and Executive Compensation Briefing.
According to a report by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) dated 26 October 2021, the gender pay gap among full-time employees was 7.9% in April 2021, up from 7.0% in April 2020, but down from 9.0% in April 2019. Whilst it is disappointing to see an increase from 2020, the ONS notes that the 2020 data was affected by both the pandemic and disruption to the collection of data from businesses, and so comparisons with 2020 should be treated with caution.
Ireland: New gender pay gap reporting regulations
In Ireland, gender pay gap reporting regulations are expected to be published in the coming weeks. The regulations will require organisations with over 250 employees to report on their gender pay gap in December 2022, based on a "snapshot date" in June 2022. Notably, employers in Ireland will also be required to publish a statement setting out, in the employers’ opinion, the reasons for the gender pay gap in their company and what measures are being taken (or proposed to be taken) to eliminate or reduce that pay gap. This statement is not mandatory under the UK reporting regime, so employers in Ireland will need to undertake additional analysis in order to understand the causes of any gender pay gap, which can often be complex and multi-faceted.
Ethnicity pay gap reporting
Separately, the UK Government has confirmed that it has no plans to make ethnicity pay gap reporting mandatory in the UK, preferring instead to encourage a voluntary approach. We can, however, expect guidance for employers on voluntary ethnicity pay reporting by summer 2022. Employers who report on ethnicity pay gaps will be expected to take "meaningful action" to identify and mitigate the causes of disparate pay using tools set out in the guidance. For more information, please see our latest article.
If you would like assistance with preparing your gender or ethnicity pay gap report or with any issues arising from your gender or ethnicity pay gaps, please get in touch with your usual Mishcon de Reya contact or with a member of the Employment team.