Editor's message: Equal pay legislation has been around since the 1970s, giving men and women the right to claim equal pay where they perform "equal work". The gender pay gap, however, covers the difference in the average earnings of men and women, regardless of their role or seniority. There are a variety of factors behind it, including the impact on women's career progression of taking time out of the labour market to have children, and career choices, with typical “male” subjects such as IT and science often leading to higher-paid roles.
To address the issue, the Government introduced a requirement for all large organisations to publish their gender pay gap information annually. This involves producing six key metrics, including the difference in the mean and median pay and bonus pay of men and women, along with the proportion of men and women in each of four quartile pay bands.
However, the Government has suspended enforcement of the gender pay gap reporting deadlines for 2020 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This means that relevant public- and private-sector employers are not obliged to report their 2019 gender pay gap information in 2020. However, the Government said that it will continue to provide support to employers that do want to publish their 2019 gender pay gap information this year.
Fiona Cuming, employment law editor