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Time’s up for gender pay gap reports

Kate Palmer, HR Advice and Consultancy Director - Peninsula

Time’s up for gender pay gap reporting.

Gender pay gap reporting was introduced in 2017, requiring companies with 250 or more employees to publish the differences between male and female pay and bonuses in their organisation. The 2019/20 deadline was suspended to help businesses during the pandemic, and this year’s deadline was pushed back from its original date of 5th April.

Kate Palmer, HR Advice and Consultancy Director said: “Wage inequality between the sexes is nothing new. Despite progression in this area, and legislation specifically enacted to prevent it, it does unfortunately continue to be an issue for many.

“The reasons behind this are not necessarily rooted in sexism, but also stem from traditional gender roles that place greater emphasis on the progression and success of the father, the need to care for the child, the prohibitive cost of childcare, and the desire to have a greater work/life balance that often leads the mother to reduce their hours and responsibilities, which (in many cases) inevitably leads to lower pay and opportunities.

“Whilst the above is true, it is not clear why in the UK this continues to be such a factor. Statistics show the UK ranks 23rd for its gender pay gap, and for a developed western nation this is both surprising and surely frustrating for the many women who are impacted by this.

“Requiring large employers to report this data is another good step in the right direction. As is said, what isn’t known, won’t get fixed. Fixing the spotlight on those organisations that are falling down in this will encourage them to do better and make them accountable for the decisions that have been made.

“What remains to be seen is that the impact furlough will have had on the numbers, and it will be interesting to see if this has meant the steps towards equality go forward or back as a result.”

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