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Mandatory UK gender pay reporting

Maintaining focus on equality.

The fourth year of reporting - an overview following the extended deadline

Our latest gender pay analysis has found the gap is continuing to narrow. All companies with more than 250 employees are required to report their gender pay gaps. The delayed enforcement of this year’s deadline for 2020/21 reporting has now passed and this followed a suspension in 2019/20 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research has found a closing of the gap for three straight years, from an average of 14.2% to 13.1% when comparing the companies that have reported every year since 2017.

56% of companies have recorded a drop in their mean pay gap.  53% reported a reduction in their mean bonus gap (of the companies who reported in both this and the previous year).

Larger companies reported earlier in the year, with 25% reporting by the original 5th April 2021 deadline. This highlights a continued focus on gender balance, and inclusion and diversity, as part of the environmental,Social and Governance (‘ESG’) agenda from the largest companies though these companies are also less likely to have experienced resourcing challenges over the past year.

Female colleagues working at a computer

What do the 2020/21 gender pay disclosures tell us?

Timing of disclosures

As expected, respective changes to the deadline for gender pay gap reporting deadline in 2019/20 and 2020/21 had a significant impact on the disclosure rate of companies compared to the prior years. As illustrated in the chart, the number of companies reporting before February fell for 2020/21 after previously increasing year on year. Following the announcement of the six month delay of the disclosure deadline, reporting slowed further with 6,315 companies reporting between 5 April and 5 October 2021, and a significant proportion reported closer to the October deadline. The number of companies who have reported for 2020/21 by 5 October is c.80% of the number that had reported in 2018/19 (the last “normal” reporting year before the pandemic).

Trends in key reporting figures

Of those that have disclosed every year since 2017/18, average pay gaps have consistently decreased with the mean reducing from 14.2% in 2017/18 to 13.1% in 2020/21. The mean pay gap has increased from 12.5% at the 5 April 2021 deadline where c.25% of companies had disclosed to 13.5% following the 5 October 2021.
This trend also appears in the mean bonus gap, which has decreased from 36.9% at the median in 2017/18 to 34.8% in 2020/21. An increase from to 34.8% from 33.6% at 5 April 2021. When looking at the change in the mean pay gap over time by sector, there has been a consistent decrease since 2017/18 for 18 of 24 sectors considered.


Contact us

Alastair Woods

Alastair Woods

Partner, Reward & People Analytics, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7834 250359

Anna Sanford

Anna Sanford

Director - Employment Legal, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7711 562458

Amber Hunt

Amber Hunt

Manager - Reward & Performance, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7808 797103

Gabby Vigneswaran

Gabby Vigneswaran

Manager - Reward & Employment, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7808 798003

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