Community calls on Equalities Minister to protect pay gaps reporting

Community has written to the Minister for Women and Equalities, the Rt Hon Kemi Badenoch MP, calling on her to reverse Liz Truss’s decision to water down regulations on gender pay gap reporting.

On the 4th October, then Prime Minister Liz Truss MP stated that her government would exempt organisations with fewer than 500 employees from gender pay gap reporting. Under current legislation, employers in the private or voluntary sector with over 250 employees must report their gender pay gap data every year. This is then made available online.

By increasing the number of companies exempt from publishing their pay gap, equality will be pushed backwards. Community strongly believes this is the wrong direction to be heading.

The letter reads:

Dear Minister,

Congratulations on your recent appoint on Minister for Women and Equalities. I am writing to you regarding gender pay gap reporting, as well as extending requirements to also cover the gender pensions gap

As you will be aware, on the 4th October, then Prime Minister Liz Truss MP stated that her government would recategorize organisations with fewer than 500 staff as “small businesses” which would make them exempt from gender pay gap reporting. At the time, TUC General Secretary Frances ‘Grady rightly warned that scrapping gender pay gap reporting “risks turning back the clock for women at work”

I therefore write to urge you to reconsider this decision. As Minister for Women and Equalities, you are in a unique position of being able to improve working life for women. Reversing this decision is the right thing to do. The increased transparency facilitated by gender pay reporting helps to encourage employers to pay attention to ensuring they are treating women fairly, as well as giving women workers choice and information.

Now is the time for an expansion of reporting, extending requirements on firms to cover the pensions pay gap. Women are significantly disadvantaged when it comes to taking their pensions, with a gap between the incomes of male and female pensioners of 37.9% in 2019.

At Community we believe that reporting on pay gaps is a powerful tool for supporting women at work. We are clear that gender pay, and pensions gap reporting should be a focus for businesses moving forward.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Roy Rickhuss CBE

General Secretary, Community

The full letter can be seen here. Community will publish any response it receives.

At Community’s Biennial Delegate Conference, we passed a motion making it union policy to call for the government to make all pay gap reporting, including on race and disability, mandatory. We also pledged to lobby government to tackle the pensions gender gap.

For more information on gender pay and pension gaps, click here.

If you are a member of Community and need advice or support, please contact our Service Centre at or on 0800 389 6332.

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