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The number of employers reporting on their gender pay figures this year has fallen by 11%, says the CIPD.
Eleven per cent fewer employers have filed their gender pay figures by the deadline than in 2019, according to new analysis by the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development [CIPD].
The CIPD says the drop in numbers may reflect some employers falling out of scope for mandatory reporting or could be an indicator that gender pay reporting has been less of a priority. Some regions have seen bigger falls, with Yorkshire and the Humber reporting the biggest decline at 16%.
While there was little change on the mean figure [13.3%],the median figure is 0.9% worse [10.4%]. The CIPD says this means women are earning roughly 90p for every pound earned by men.
Again there are regional differences, with the highest median hourly gaps in the south of Britain, with London at 12.4% and the South East at 11.6%. The median is lowest in Wales (7.2%) and Scotland (7.6%).
The figures also show that over a third of employers reporting their figures do not provide any form of narrative of their figures (judged by the presence of a link to background information, although the CIPD says a URL does not necessarily indicate that an organisation has provided a narrative about their figures). This has fallen by 4% since 2019.
Preliminary analysis by the BBC shows that, by sector, the worst gender pay gaps on average are in education (26%), finance and insurance (24%) and construction (23.8%). The private household services sector had the smallest average gender pay gap at 0.75%, closely followed by accommodation and food (0.1%) and health (0.5%). The figures – apart from those related to bonuses – do not include those on furlough during the reporting time period [31st March and 5th April 2020], unless their pay was topped up to their full-time salary.
Concerns have also been raised that many employers left it until the last minute to file their gender pay gap statistics this year, with just over 8,000 employers submitting on the eve of the deadline. The last time gender pay gap reporting was mandatory (2018-19), over 10,000 employers with over 250 employees submitted their data. Last year just over 6.5K employers filed data last year with the Government suspending reporting in the wake of the pandemic. This year, employers were given an extra six months to file and, as of Wednesday, just over 9.1K had filed after the deadline had passed on 5th October.
The Chartered Management Institute – and many others – have been calling for employers to not just submit their figures, but also an action plan on how to tackle any gaps identified. There are concerns that the gap may widen as a result of the pandemic, with figures from industries such as Hospitality, Travel and Leisure showing a fall in women at senior levels in the last year.
Ann Francke, Chief Executive of CMI, which has joined forces with the Equality and Human Rights Commission to create a practical toolkit to support organisations drive action in tackling their gender pay gap, said: “As these are the first gender pay gap figures we’re seeing since before the pandemic they will give a really interesting insight into how women’s pay has fared over the past 12 months. The pandemic has set women back even further in the workplace so it’s urgent that organisations report and develop action plans.
“To see so many firms leaving their reporting right up to the deadline is disappointing. Many will no doubt be late. It suggests that far too often gender pay isn’t top of the corporate agenda and that it’s something of an after-thought. This isn’t right.”
She added: “I wonder whether many firms are leaving their reporting to the last minute due to genuine time-pressures in the office, or a fingers-crossed attitude that getting their data in as late as possible will avoid scrutiny? Whatever the reason, they need to make sure any gender pay gaps that they have are identified, investigated and sorted out.”