Analysis of employers’ submissions to the gender pay gap reporting service show that one in 10 employers have not complied with the regulations this year. For those that have, the median figure for the hourly pay gap rose from 9.5% to 10.4%, meaning women earn 90p for every pound earned by a man.
A total of 9,626 employers submitted their 2020-21 gender pay gap by the 5 October deadline, a 6.6% drop on the number to report on time in 2018-19, the last comparable year available.
Enforcement of gender pay gap reporting was suspended in 2019-20 because of the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, resulting in 35.8% fewer employers submitting their data compared to the previous year.
Compared with the total number who submitted GPG data in 2018-19, this year’s total submissions, including those employers who have submitted late, stands at 9,715, 10.4% fewer than the total figure of 10,841 for 2018-19.
Charles Cotton, senior policy adviser for reward and recognition at the CIPD, said: “It’s disappointing that the number of organisations reporting their gender pay gap has fallen. We encourage those who haven’t yet reported to do so as soon as possible, otherwise they risk enforcement action and possible damage to their reputation.
“Evidence suggests that economically, women have been adversely and disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and now is not a time to be taking the foot off the pedal when it comes to equality in the workplace.”
The CIPD is among those calling for accompanying narratives and action plans to be mandatory alongside the reporting of gender pay gap figures.
“It’s more important than ever that employers don’t just report figures,” added Cotton. “Instead, they need to fully engage and understand the reason for any gap and be transparent about how they plan to tackle it and improve gender equality in the workplace.”
As reported earlier this week, the UK gender pay gap reporting regime is more lenient in comparison with similar regulations in Spain and France where the the threshold for employer size is much lower and statutory enforcement is more severe.
CIPD analysis found that the number of employers reporting in Yorkshire and the Humber was down by 16%, West Midlands by 15% and Scotland and Wales by 14%.
The headline median figure for hourly earning has got worse – rising from 9.5% in 2019 to 10.4% but the mean figure is virtually unchanged at 13.3%
The highest median hourly gaps were reported in London (12.4%) and the South East (11.6%). The median was lowest in Wales (7.2%) and Scotland (7.6%).
By sector, education continued to have the worse pay gap (26%), followed by financial services (24%) and construction (24%). The healthcare sector (0.5%), accommodation and food (0.1%) and private household services (+0.8%) were closest to pay equity.
Of the employers that had reported by the deadline of 5 October, BBC analysis showed that 7,572 reported a pay gap which favoured men, 1,286 had a gap favouring women and 770 reported no pay gap.