Since April 2017 organisations with more than 250 employees have been required to report the pay gap between male and female employees. Those who failed to do so could be investigated by the EHRC, which has powers to take companies to court and levy unlimited fines over non-compliance.
Employers will not be expected to report their gender pay gap data this year as they respond to the coronavirus crisis, the Government Equalities Office has announced.
In a joint statement, minister for women & equalities Liz Truss and Equalities and Human Rights Commission chair, David Isaac, said: “We recognise that employers across the country are facing unprecedented uncertainty and pressure at this time. Because of this we feel it is only right to suspend enforcement of gender pay gap reporting this year.”
On 24 March, the EHRC suspended enforcement action for those who do not report their data for the 2018-19 year. It will still provide support to any organisations who do wish to report their pay gaps.
More than 3,000 employers – including all large government departments – have already reported their data ahead of the deadlines of 30 March for public sector organisations and 4 April for hte private sector
Data released in January showed that gender pay gaps are lower than the national average at all of the 18 largest central departments, although half still pay their female staff 10% less than their male staff.
And while most ministries have made progress on closing their pay gaps in the last two years, gaps widened at five of the 18 central ministries between 2017-18 and 2018-19.
As well as suspending pay gap reporting, government has also announced that vehicle-owners would be given a six-month exemption from MOT testing. Drivers must keep their vehicles in a a “roadworthy condition,” according to a statement from the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency, and could still be prosecuted if they are found to be driving an unsafe vehicle.
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