Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, the Government Equalities Office (GEO) and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) have taken the decision to suspend enforcement of the gender pay gap deadlines for this reporting year. The decision means there will be no expectation on employers to report their data.

Charles Cotton, a senior advisor at the CIPD said: "Some employers will find that not reporting their gender pay gap at this difficult time will give them extra breathing space that they can use to focus on the urgent task at hand of protecting their workforce and the business. The CIPD is pleased that the Government recognises the incredible pressure that the HR profession is under at the moment.

"But, when normality starts to return, we encourage employers to turn their attention back to this important agenda. Most organisations should already have their gender pay data to hand, so if they are in a position to submit their figures then we would strongly encourage their HR teams to do so, especially if they have a narrative and action plan ready to publish as well. This will help demonstrate that, notwithstanding the current crisis, their employers are looking towards the future and playing their part in creating a fairer workplace."

Catherine Osaigbovo, Director at BIE, says, “We feel that this is the right decision, in the circumstances. Anything the Government can do to alleviate the pressure on HR professionals, at the current time, can only be welcomed. That said, employers shouldn’t lose sight of their diversity and inclusion goals; gender pay gap reporting is key in moving towards a more transparent and fairer workplace. We would encourage businesses to release their reports where it is possible to do so.”

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