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GPG deadline extended, but is it good enough?

Employers now have until October 5 2021 to report their gender pay gap information, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has announced.

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Payroller Aaron Mudd: 'It sets a marker by saying it can be dropped and that it’s not important'
Payroller Aaron Mudd: 'It sets a marker by saying it can be dropped and that it’s not important'

As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the deadline has been extended by six months.

 

The information was due to be published by March 30 2021 for most public authority employers and April 4 2021 for private, voluntary, and all other public authority employers. All employers now have until October 5 2021 to report their gender pay gap information and no enforcement action will be taken if they report by then.

 

Last year, the gender pay gap reporting deadlines for the year 2019/20 were suspended due to pressures of the pandemic. The Government Equalities Office said employers will not be expected to report this data, but if they’d like to it is possible via the gender pay gap service.

 

At the Reward & Payroll Summit, held December 2020, Reward Strategy asked a panel of experts what they thought about the reporting suspension.

 

Both Adrian Porter, global group head of reward at AVEVA, and Aaron Mudd, global payroll and benefits at DECIEM, The Abnormal Beauty Company, agreed the reporting requirements should not have been postponed.

 

Mudd said: “It sets a marker by saying it can be dropped and that it’s not as important as everything else. I understand the reasoning, but businesses have a year to report the data and I think that’s more than adequate to get the data ready.”

 

Despite disagreeing, explaining that it was a sensible suggestion given the impact of the pandemic, Jade Linton, HR business partner and employment solicitor at Thursfields Solicitors, said she’s not sure how much of a difference not reporting the figures would really make.

 

This led on to the discussion about whether the UK was “good enough” in terms of gender pay gap legislation.

 

Porter said that since the reporting was introduced, the impact has diluted: “I think we all have a responsibility, in our own companies, to take action and drive changes internally. We can’t rely on the reporting to be the magic pill.”

 

Mudd added: “Good enough is such an interesting phrase when it comes to this topic, because it sounds like we are striving for the bare minimum.

 

“The UK probably is good enough, but reporting alone is not good enough. It’s one thing to legislate and be transparent around numbers, but another for companies to actually be held accountable when they aren’t up to scratch.”

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