Only a quarter of UK companies required to publish their gender pay gap data have done so, despite the deadline being less than four weeks away.
So far, only 24% of PLCs with 250 or more employees have submitted their pay data for the 2021-22 reporting year ahead of the 4 April deadline, analysis by consultancy Spktral has revealed.
The deadline for public sector organisations is 30 March. At the time of writing 639 public sector employers had submitted their 2021 GPG analysis to the government’s portal – representing a large share of the employers who have already reported.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission has said enforcement action against organisations that have not submitted their pay data will begin from 5 April.
Spkral said it was crucial for companies to analyse the data from the 2021 snapshot date (5 April 2021 for private sector firms and 31 March 2021 for public sector organisations) as soon as possible if they wanted to use the insights to adjust their processes and drive greater female representation before the 2022 snapshot date comes around.
It suggested that some employers may have completed their analysis months ago, but had neither shared or acted on their findings because they saw it as a “mere compliance” exercise, rather than an activity that could help create more inclusive workplaces.
Addressing the gender pay gap
Spktral said more than 20% of the 2021 submissions contained compliance or calculation errors. Its CEO, Anthony Horrigan, suggested that many senior leadership teams were unaware of these mistakes.
Horrigan suggested that, until gender pay gap reporting requirements included a robust audit, simple compliance frequent errors would continue to be made.
Spktral added that employers could not create positive change if their starting point was inaccurate data.
“To avoid this, senior leaders and non-exec directors should ask that the process is checked – not just for the current year, but historically to account for the three years’ worth of published reports that every organisation is required to have on their websites,” it said.
Among the large employers that have already published their 2021 data are Asda, Iceland Foods, Lloyds Banking Group and John Lewis Partnership.
Asda and Lloyds Banking Group saw slight increases in their median pay gap, from 5.5% to 6.1% and 33.6% to 34.2% respectively.
In February, Asda said its gender pay gap was still below the national average (15.4% at the median, according to the Office for National Statistics) despite the fact it had widened slightly.
We know there is more we can do to reduce our gender pay gap and this remains a core focus for us.” – Hayley Tatum, chief people officer, Asda
Asda’s chief people officer Hayley Tatum said: “We’re pleased that the 2021 results reflect the work we’ve been doing and continue to do to have more women in senior roles, increasing their representation from 38% in 2020 to 40% in 2021. We know there is more we can do to reduce our gender pay gap and this remains a core focus for us.”
Lloyds Banking Group has not yet published its gender pay gap report for the current reporting year on its website, but last year said it had proportionately more female colleagues in junior roles and proportionately more male colleagues in higher-paid leadership roles.
“So, with lower numbers of female colleagues in more senior roles, this brings down the average pay for these colleagues and creates an overall pay gap,” it said.
Iceland Foods saw its median pay gap reduce from 10% to 7.2%. Personnel Today was unable to find Iceland’s gender pay gap report on the retailer’s website.
John Lewis Partnership saw its gap reduce from 8.6% to 6.3%. Its Inclusion report for 2021-22 said: “We continue to see greater levels of female progression and appointments into more senior roles, which is really encouraging and testament to our focus on creating fair opportunities. The result is that we now have a higher proportion of women in almost every level of our organisation than we did a year ago.”