March 9, 2020

Gender Pay Gap Reporting 2021: Including Furloughed Employees

Required to submit a gender pay gap report this year? Furloughed some of your employees in 2020/2021? You may like to know how that will work. How does the government furlough scheme affect the gender pay gap reporting process?

From 2017 any organisation with 250+ employees have to publish and report figures about their gender pay gap. Of course, due to the Coronavirus outbreak, the Government Equalities Office (GEO) and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) decided to suspend enforcement of the gender pay gap deadlines for the reporting year of 2019/20.

However, from 2020/21, employers will need to return to the previous requirements of submitting their data by 4 April (businesses and charities) and 30 March (public sector). Given that 1.2 million employers have furloughed employees, it’s likely that many would like to understand how this impacts their gender pay gap reporting in 2021.

Note that whilst businesses are encouraged to meet the usual deadlines (30 March / 4 April), the standard enforcement actions will not be undertaken until six months after these deadlines have passed. Find out more about the six month extension here.

Recap: Who counts as an ‘employee’?

The definition of ‘employee’ for gender pay gap reporting includes:

  • people who have a contract of employment with your organisation
  • workers and agency workers (those with a contract to do work or provide services)
  • some self-employed people (where they must personally perform the work)

Recap: The Data You Need to publish

You must publish on your website and report to the government your:

  • mean gender pay gap in hourly pay
  • median gender pay gap in hourly pay
  • mean bonus gender pay gap
  • median bonus gender pay gap
  • proportion of males and females receiving a bonus payment
  • proportion of males and females in each pay quartile

The Impact of Furlough on Headcount

Any employee that has been furloughed must be counted when establishing what the employer headcount is. They must be included in gender pay gap calculations when:

  • Calculating the percentage of men and women receiving bonus pay
  • Calculating the average (mean) gender pay gap using bonus pay
  • Calculating the median gender pay gap using bonus pay

To confirm, these calculations should include any employees that were furloughed.

Did You ‘Top Up’ Furloughed Employee Salaries?

If your employees’ salaries were topped up to full/normal pay whilst on furlough, they count as ‘full-pay relevant employees’ for the purposes of calculations. They therefore must be included when:

  • Calculating the average (mean) gender pay gap using hourly pay
  • Calculating the median gender pay gap using hourly pay
  • Calculating the percentage of men and women in each hourly pay quarter

Furloughed employees that received less than full pay (i.e. they weren’t topped up) do not count as ‘full-pay relevant’ employees. This is because they were paid a reduced rate as a result of being on a period of furloughed leave. These employees should be excluded from the calculations above.

If any employees weren’t placed on furlough because they agreed to defer a portion of their earnings, they would be considered as ‘full-pay relevant employees’ as they weren’t paid a reduced rate or nothing. These employees should be included in the calculations above.

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About the author

Amy Morrison

About the author

Amy Morrison

Amy is responsible for digital content at Moorepay, which includes creating resources for the Knowledge Centre, and making ongoing improvements to the website. With experience in digital marketing, and content and communications, and with a CIPR Certificate in Public Relations, Amy brings a range of skills to her role as Digital Content Manager at Moorepay.

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