Gender pay gap reporting data reveals little progress on closing the gap

The UK gender pay gap has narrowed slightly to 13.3%, according to Cendex analysis of latest gender pay gap reporting data.

The typical (or median) difference between mean male and mean female hourly pay for 2020/2021 (at 13.3%) compares with a gender pay gap of 13.6% recorded one year previously (for 2019/2020). A breakdown by industry sector reveals wide variation in gender pay gap levels. The typical gender pay gap ranges from 3.7% at facilities, security and support services organisations, up to 27.5% in the finance sector.

A matched sample analysis of data from organisations who submitted data in both 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 shows that information and communications organisations made the most progress towards pay equality over this period, with the gender pay gap in this sector narrowing by 1.2 percentage points. The least progress was seen by organisations in the not-for-profit and facilities, security and support services sectors, where the 2020/2021 gender pay gap remains unchanged from 2019/2020.

Other key findings across all organisations that submitted gender pay gap reporting data for 2020/2021 include:

  • mean gender bonus gap: 34.9%.
  • median gender bonus gap: 19%.
  • men in the top quartile band: 62%.
  • women in the top quartile band: 38%.

All employers with 250 or more employees are legally obliged to report every year on six key metrics about their gender pay gap and gender bonus gap using data inputs and calculations set out in Regulations. The Cendex analysis covers key findings from the 9,655 gender pay gap report submissions published on the government website in time for the extended deadline of 5 October 2021. For this year, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) deferred enforcement of gender pay gap reporting from April to October, in response to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

XpertHR offers a range of resources to help organisations measure and act to reduce pay gaps:

  • Cendex users can access a detailed analysis of trends in gender pay gap reporting submissions between the first round of reports (submitted in April 2018) and the latest round. Cendex also offers a gender pay gap reporting service to guide users through the process of data collection and metric calculation to meet current UK gender pay gap reporting requirements.
  • XpertHR's benchmarking service has the full data from our analysis, including data breakdowns by industry and organisation size.
  • Gapsquare - part of the XpertHR portfolio - offers HR and Reward professionals advanced pay equity solutions to provice actionable insights on existing pay gaps through their flagship software FairPay® Pro. Advanced statistical analysis identifies variables for employee demographics such as gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and disability, identifying the causes of pay gaps, and proposing and tracking remedial actions.
  • Our gender pay gap topic page has links to XpertHR compliance and good practice resources, including essential guidance on how to measure and report a gender pay gap.