Companies in the U.K. that fail to meet the gender pay gap reporting deadline of 4 April will be given a six-month reprieve before any enforcement action is taken against them, the government’s equality watchdog said.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) announced that, due to the continued effects of the pandemic, enforcement action against organisations that fail to report their gender pay gap will start again on 5 October 2021, after it was suspended last year.
This means that employers have another six months to report their data for the 2020/21 reporting year before legal action begins.
The gender pay gap service has been in place since 2017. Reporting in 2019 revealed that eight out of 10 British companies paid men more than women.
Kishwer Falkner, the EHRC chair, said the approach was designed to strike “the right balance between supporting businesses still impacted by the pandemic and making sure employers comply with the law”.
She added: “We know employers take gender pay gap reporting seriously and 6,000 organisations managed to report their data last year while reacting to the effects of Covid-19. It is not just the law but the right thing to do for their staff, demonstrating a commitment to all their female employees, which is why organisations like the CBI have supported our decision to recommence reporting and enforcement.”