The gender pay gap report has been debunked for the second year in a row – and equality campaigners are enraged. Government statistics announced that the gender pay gap among all employees was a 15.5% difference in 2020. The Equality and Human Rights Commission 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.  

The change means that employers have another six months to report their data for the 2020/21 reporting year before legal action begins. CBI chief UK policy director Matthew Fell said the pandemic cannot be allowed to undermine organisations’ commitment to tackling inequality: “Businesses will welcome certainty about what they are expected to disclose and by when. Reinstating enforcement from October 2021 will ensure that all firms within scope publish their data while giving those who have been closed for most of the last year more time to do so,” he said. 

However, The Equalities and Human Rights Commission said the additional delay "strikes the right balance" between supporting business and the regulation. But Labour said it was "unacceptable" and enforcement needs to be reinstated. 

 Why is it important to have gender equity in a workplace?  

 There are myriad business benefits to gender balance in the workplace  

1. It boosts financial performance globally 

2. It increases the ability to attract and retain talent 

3. It enhances employee engagement, culture, and trust 

4. It brings firms closer to customers and boosts brands

5. It drives better, innovative team decisions, raises ethics, and reduces risk 

The impact of Covid-19 on the gender pay roll report 

We know the pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on women. Research has shown that women are more likely to have lost their job or been furloughed and are taking on the majority of housework and childcare. CMI’s Management Transformed research has also shown the challenges that working mothers face - they are more likely to be in communication less than once a week with their manager than UK employees (29% compared to 23%). 

It is visible that this second period of delay will cause strenuous anger for many women and equality campaigners, undeniably, frustrating news announced from the government affecting many.