The number of employers submitting their gender pay gap reports fell by around half since last year, a new study by charity Business in the Community has revealed.
Although the government paused employers’ duty to report their gender pay gap during the Coronavirus crisis, the charity emphasised that companies were in posession of the relevant statistics for a whole year in advance.
Public sector employers were given a deadline on 30 March to report, while private sector businesses had a deadline of 04 April – both dates fall less than two weeks after the government halted the requirement to report.
“If we don’t have a clear picture of women’s status at work entering the crisis, we won’t be able to take the right steps going foward,” Business in the Community’s Charlotte Woodsworth said.
“It is hugely disappointing to see so many opted out when the legal requirement was lifted – and a worrying sign of attitudes towards gender equality during the crisis.”
Indeed, the Prime Minister was under fire by the Women and Equalities Committee this week when he was asked by its Chair, Caroline Nokes, whose advice had been taken on the reopening of schools as Coronavirus restrictions are lifted.
“I think your question, Caroline, is directed at whether or not we’ve got sufficiently female representation at the top of government helping us to inform these decisions and I really think we have,” Johnson replied.
“How many is enough?” Caroline Nokes responded, to which the Prime Minister laughed: “Oh boy. That’s a question on which I’m not competent to pronounce.”
“Is it not 50%?” Caroline Nokes pointed out, while her co-chair Sir Bernard Jenkin warned Johnson that gender equality was “not a joking matter”.