According to the Financial Times, flaws in the planning and execution of the requirements for gender pay gap reporting mean employers can submit false information, or avoid reporting at all.
Employers with 250 or more employees are required to report the pay gap between their female and male employees. And the deadline to submit this information is April 4 2018 – only a month away.
The Government Equalities Office (GEO), which manages the portal where reports are filed, has admitted that it does not have a full list of which employers are required to submit their gender pay gap data.
Using the Business Population Estimate, a government database, the GEO estimates there are approximately 9,000 employers that will have to report their data.
The government database has some flaws, however, as it excludes some businesses listed in the UK, but operating overseas. And it combines some businesses that are linked within group structures.
The FT reported that the actual number of companies who should report their data is as high as 13,488. They used Bureau van Dijk’s database, Fame, to calculate this figure.
Their analysis also revealed that, by the end of February, 3% of employers had reported statistically implausible numbers. However, as the government didn’t request detailed data, they are not able to check these figures and verify whether the information received is correct.
This allows employers to submit fabricated information, which would mask the true extent of the pay gap between their female and male employees.
The full findings of the report can be found on the FT website.