The UK government has suspended gender pay gap reporting due to heightened uncertainty from the coronavirus crisis.
The decision has been made by the government’s Equalities Office and the Equality and Human Rights Commission to alleviate pressure on employers that are struggling during the pandemic.
As a result, there will be no enforcement or expectation on employers to report their data.
Under usual circumstances employers would have soon faced deadlines for data submission. For public sector employers this would have been midnight of 30 March, while for private and voluntary sector employers this would have been midnight of 4 April.
In a joint statement, Minister for Women and Equalities Liz Truss and Equality and Human Rights Commission Chair David Isaac said: “We recognise that employers across the country are facing unprecedented uncertainty and pressure at this time.
“Because of this we feel it is only right to suspend enforcement of gender pay gap reporting this year.”
This development follows other measures by government to reduce pressure on businesses, including the deferment of VAT and income tax payments.
Under normal circumstances the Commission has the power to investigate employers failing to report gender pay gap data. They can then be subject to unlimited fines if this results in court action.
More than 3,000 employers have already reported their data via the gov.uk website this year which accounts for 26% of expected reporters.
The Equalities Office will continue to provide support to employers in reporting their data should they wish to do so.
Gender pay gap reporting has been compulsory in the UK for employers with 250 or more staff since 2017. In 2019 this resulted in over 10,500 employers submitting data and 100% compliance.
At the same time, 328 warning letters were sent for missing the deadline and 50 employers were threatened with investigation.Last Updated: 3 April 2020