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Have you reported your gender pay gap correctly this year?

For the 5 October reporting deadline, commentators say furlough scheme means data will look different

The extended deadline for gender pay gap reporting is next week, but the results will be skewed if organisations do not take the UK’s furlough scheme into account, commentators have said.

All UK companies with 250 employees or more are required to report their gender pay gap, the difference in pay between the average (or middle) man and woman in an organisation.

For the finance and insurance industry, the average mean pay gap is currently 26.6%, according to pay gap consultant Spktral – the biggest gap of all industries analysed.

See also: – The do’s and don’ts of diversity data

However, it appears that progress has been lacking across many sectors: in March this year a Refinitiv report found “disappointing” progress in companies addressing their gender pay gaps, following analysis of pay gap disclosures.

Daisy Hooper, head of policy at the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), added: “There has been some positive progress toward gender equality in recent years, and gender pay gap reporting has been the driver for this progress in organisations.”

This year, the deadline was extended to 5 October 2021 due to the pandemic, after which the Equality and Human Rights Commission will begin enforcement action against late reporters.

Women and the furlough scheme

So far, 5,600 organisations have submitted their reports, according to Spktral. Some 347 of these are in the financial and insurance category, but the consultancy added this year’s results will be skewed because of the UK’s furlough scheme.

As of April 2021, there were still between three to four million employees on furlough. Earlier this year, the Government Equality Office (GEO) confirmed furlough as a form of leave. This means that, unless employers are topping furloughed staff’s pay back up to 100%, they do not meet the legislation’s criteria for full pay and should be excluded from the gender pay gap section of the report; although they’ll still need to be included in the gender bonus gap section, Spktral said

“Considering the obvious effects Covid-19 has had on the workforce, it would have been viable for the GEO to add another metric to the 2020 and 2021 reports: percentage of employees excluded from report due to furlough. Yet, because the GEO did not add this metric, many of the reports submitted will have figures that stray from the real story. In turn, their gender pay gap reports will contain data that is not entirely accurate,” the consultancy said.

A recent Credit Suisse report, Women and Work after Covid-19, found a higher percentage of women were furloughed and a higher percentage lost their jobs or left the workforce over the pandemic (4.2% compared with 3% of men).

Coming out of the pandemic, it found women re-entering the workforce into lower paying jobs. “Even before the pandemic, women earned less on average than men given their high representation in low-paying occupations,” it said.

“Such occupations have seen an increase in their share in Europe over the past few years, with a large share of job creation concentrated in low-paying occupations for both men and women. Moreover, a large share of jobs performed by women is concentrated in low-paying occupations.”

See also: – Women more likely than men to become heads of sustainability

The CMI’s Hooper added: “We risk undoing the gains as a result of the global pandemic’s impact on women, who are more likely to have lost their job or have been furloughed.” 

Hooper said companies must be aware of the issues with this year’s data and identify them through consultation with employees. She then said it should be a priority for leaders to put action plans in place to remedy these,

“Training all managers to role-model and implement the practices that support women to thrive benefits all workers, and will ensure that together we build back better and more inclusively,” she said. 

Fiona Hathorn, CEO of Women on Boards UK, added: Companies must analyse their entire workforce (furloughed or otherwise) in order to gain a true picture of where they stand and to drive accountability, action and improvement.” 

Top 10 asset managers by mean gender pay gap 2020-21

OrganisationMean pay gap (%)Median pay gap (%)Median bonus gap (%)Mean bonus gap (%)
Bluebay Asset Management14.313.149.355.4
Legal & General Investment Management 15.518.148.440.4
Pimco Europe1730.532.241.7
Franklin Templeton Global Investors17.120.93728
Hargreaves Lansdown17.619.145.162.8
BlackRock Investment Management (UK)18243068
FIL Investment Management18.323.145.255.7
Baillie Gifford & Co18.51617.750.3
Aberdeen Asset Management19.519.43153.1
Pictet Asset Management19.829.556.454.2
Source: Adapted from Spktral

Bottom 10 asset managers by mean gender pay gap 2020-21

OrganisationMean gender pay gap (%)Median gender pay gap (%)Median bonus gap (%)Mean bonus gap (%)
J.P. Morgan Securities 53.150.366.663.5
Goldman Sachs International51.836.868.467.1
Morgan Stanley & Co. International51.43864.566.8
Ninety One UK44.93454.670.5
Investec Wealth & Investment44.75377.977.4
Quilter Cheviot44466974
Invesco UK40315580
Franklin Templeton Investment Management37.849.883.174.1
Aberdeen Asset Managers36.237.872.566.1
Aegon Asset Management34.832.549.360.1
Source: Adapted from Spktral