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Hundreds Left to Report as 2022 Gender Pay Gap Deadline Passes

Ashleigh Webber


At the time of publication, 9,952 employers had published their gender pay gaps for the 2021-22 reporting year on the government’s gender pay gap reporting service, down from 10,564 that reported the previous year.

Public sector employers were required to publish their gender pay gap reports by 30 March, with more than 1,600 organisations meeting this deadline.

The Office for National Statistics’ estimate for 2021, published in October, put the gap at 15.4%, up from 14.9% in 2020.

Anne Francke, CEO of the Chartered Management Institute, said progress towards gender equality felt “glacial”.

“Here we are again – another year of gender pay gap statistics and we’ve still not assigned this anomaly to the history books. On the contrary – for private businesses CMI research shows that this year the average pay gap has increased,” she said.

“This is more than just about compliance with legal requirements. It’s about ensuring all of our workers are treated fairly and in a position to make the maximum contribution to economic and organisational success possible. The increasing gap suggests we are leaving many women short and so we all lose out.”

The gender pay gap reporting deadline for the previous year, 2020-21, was moved to 5 October 2021 by the Government Equalities Office in light of the pandemic.

The Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) suspended its enforcement of the regulations during 2020 and 2021, but has indicated that it will begin pursuing organisations that fail to comply today (5 April), first by sending warning notices and then carrying out investigations to confirm whether an organisation that has not reported has breached the regulations.

Some 1,400 organisations failed to report by the extended deadline last year, including 1,100 private sector firms and more than 200 public sector employers. By 25 March 2022 99% of the 1,400 employers had taken the steps they needed to comply with the gender pay gap regulations, the EHRC said.

“For those organisations who failed to report their gender pay gap information for the October 2021 deadline, we will consider taking formal enforcement action against repeating non-reporters once the 2022 reporting deadlines have passed,” the EHRC said.

“We consider this approach proportionate in view of the shorter period for enforcement between the extended 5 October 2021 deadline and the 2022 deadlines.”

Agata Nowakowska, area vice president EMEA at learning software provider Skillsoft, said that closing the gap will require employers giving female employees the opportunity to reach higher-paying positions.

“This could mean reviewing how your organisation facilitates professional development, addressing unconscious bias or reviewing flexible working policies,” she said.

“Pay equity is achievable, but only if organisations are aware of their current position and take action to close the gap. After all, as this year’s results reflect, we must put our foot on the pedals of change to drive progress quicker.”

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