The requirement to report any gender pay gaps in certain sized businesses was suspended in 2020. What are the rules relating to furloughed staff in 2021?


Under the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017, employers with 250 or more employees in the private and voluntary sectors are required to publish gender pay gap information on an annual basis. There are separate but parallel gender pay gap reporting obligations for public sector employers. On 24 March 2020, just as we went into the first lockdown, the Government Equalities Office announced that mandatory gender pay gap reporting was suspended in respect of 2019 data. This was the data that would have been captured on the snapshot dates of 31 March 2019 for the public sector and 5 April 2019 for the private sector and would have been reported by 30 March 2020 and 4 April 2020 respectively. There was no suggestion that the data that had been collected should be discarded nor that it should not be collected on the snapshot dates in respect of the 2020 gender pay gap. Equally, employers could choose to report their 2019 data if they so chose.

2020 reporting

The data collected in March and April 2020 (or at least secured for later reporting and interpretation) should, as it stands, be reported at the latest by 30 March 2021 for the public sector and 4 April 2021 for the private sector. On the snapshot dates in March and April 2020 some employers would already have had employees who were furloughed. Only employees who were on full pay on the snapshot date should be included in the calculation of the mean and median gender pay gaps in order not to skew the figures.

Pro advice

You’ll need to consider how to exclude anyone who was furloughed in addition to the normal excluded employees, such as those on unpaid leave, maternity leave, etc.

Bonus reporting?

Employees who are on furlough at the snapshot date are not excluded from the bonus gap reporting cohort. They are classed as relevant employees and as such anyone who is furloughed is also still counted to assess whether the employer has more than 250 employees.

You will need to make changes to any reporting tools used to calculate your gender pay gap in respect of employees whose pay was reduced as they were furloughed on the snapshot date.

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