Maintaining focus on equality.
In March, the Government Equalities Office (GEO) announced that it was suspending the deadline for the 2019/20 gender pay gap reporting due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on employers.
Despite this, by 17 April 2020, a total of 5,236 employers had disclosed their figures. This represents 48% of the total number of companies that disclosed in 2018. Reflecting a trend seen in 2018, only a small number of companies disclosed prior to March, with the majority leaving disclosure until close to the deadline. This may partially explain why disclosure rates for 2019 were not higher, as many organisations would have planned to prepare and publish their disclosures in March or early April, at the time that COVID-19 began to significantly disrupt many businesses.
We've published a report in which our experts have analysed the latest figures and explored what this may tell us, as well as how organisations may wish to consider planning for 2020 reporting in a context where the topic of equality is under intense scrutiny.
The headline figures show a picture that is distinctly different to the year-on-year change for 2017 to 2018, the median of the mean pay gaps has increased from 13.1% in 2018 to 13.7% in 2019.
However, this trend may well be misleading due to the significant number of companies excluded from the 2019 data set. If we compare like-for-like data, we actually see a small decrease in the median of the mean pay gap and mean bonus gap of 0.6% and 0.5% respectively. Although it does suggest that overall the year-on-year trend continues downward, it should be noted that the change remains small.
Organisations will need to continue to focus hard on improving the balance of men and women in their organisations, particularly at senior levels, before we see a significant change to the overall pay gap.
In this report, we explore what the headline statistics really mean, while also looking forward to what companies should expect for the fourth year of gender pay gap reporting.