How Covid-19 will affect your gender pay gap and why you should still publish this year
Organisations cannot afford to take their eye off the ball with Gender Pay, despite the government suspending publication of the 2019 figures. Actions taken now to reduce the impact of Covid-19 on businesses will have a significant impact on your results, as well as causing potential equal pay issues down the line.
Innecto’s message for all organisations is to still complete the analysis, the narrative and publish when they feel able. Coronavirus is likely to disproportionately affect female employees, so now more than ever we need to track progress and encourage organisations to advance their gender pay strategy.
We are passionate about helping organisations address their gender pay gap. As a token of our commitment, we are offering to undertake gender pay work now whilst clients can delay payment until later in the year. Our team is happy to support businesses that want to continue their progress on gender pay but don’t have the budget or resource at the moment. If you want to explore this option with us, then please do get in touch by emailing email@example.com
This week the Government Equalities Office (GEO) and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) took the decision under the current conditions to suspend enforcement of the gender pay gap deadlines for this reporting year, which means there will be no expectations on employers to report their data.
Busy HR teams will no doubt welcome this breathing space, but on the whole companies have either already submitted or are ready to submit.
Why should I publish?
Some sectors are already bearing the brunt of Covid-19, and these typically employ a high proportion of women, such as Retail, Hospitality and Education. Large numbers of female employees being furloughed or leaving to care for children off school and/or other relatives, could have a dramatic effect on gender pay figures, depending upon the demographics of the organisation.
It’s important that we understand what the long-term impact looks like. Reporting on your April 2019 snapshot this year will give us an essential comparison for the impact of Covid-19 on the workforce in April 2020 - and hopefully the recovery, via the April 2021 snapshot the following year.
The impact of the government’s Salary Retention scheme is also likely to affect the figures. Should companies only report on the 20% of salary they are currently paying furloughed workers? But what about organisations using the scheme but unable to pay the 20%? What’s more, not all companies will have an across the board approach.
It’s a thorny problem and part of the reason why reporting gender pay now will provide such valuable insight in our collective attempt to address the gender pay gap.
Don’t forget about equal pay
Nor should we forget about the potential impact on equal pay. Right now, companies are in survival mode and will be making all manner of decisions to reduce their cost base.
We need to stay on top of this and delve deep into the data to identify any equal pay instances once this immediate crisis is over. Being unaware of the impact of decisions taken now could put an organisation at risk of equal pay claims down the line - but having insight puts you in control and in a stronger position going forward.
If you’d like to discuss gender pay or equal pay at your organisation, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org