Addressing the ethnicity and gender pay gap 

Employers say gender pay gap reporting remains a priority. Is that true?

Following the turbulence caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the UK Government suspended the enforcement of gender pay gap reporting for 2019/2020. However, our latest research shows that for many UK employers pay gap reporting remains a key priority with many reporting even during the suspension. That said, little progress has been made on reducing gender and ethnicity pay gaps.

Our annual survey into ethnicity pay reporting and the gender pay gap captured the priorities and concerns of more than 130 employers. We’ve addressed these concerns and provided practical steps that organisations should be taking in our new report.

Key employer trends

Our 2021 UK Gender and Ethnicity Pay Gap Trends Survey captures the priorities and concerns of employers when it comes to their annual pay gap reporting. 

The survey includes a representative sample of more than 130 employers, with a combined UK workforce of just under one million employees. 

Here are some of the key employer trends:

  • 49% made little or no progress with narrowing their pay gaps
  • 1 in 3 closed gender pay gaps by more than 2%
  • 3/5 clients already calculated or calculating ethnicity pay gaps

Our report addresses the concerns of companies when it comes to pay gap reporting and ethnicity pay gap reporting. 

It sets out our findings in detail, accompanied by recommendations on key actions every organisation can start taking today to help reduce and eliminate gender and ethnicity pay disparities.

To truly make a difference, employers must look beyond their pay gaps and their pay gap reporting. Most important of all is creating a genuinely inclusive workforce that allows people to be themselves and thrive both in and outside of work.
Michelle Sequeira

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Consulting Leader, Mercer UK&Europe

Webinar | A gap between intention and action?

Lucy Brown and Lea Lønsted discuss the report findings in more detail including concerns about ethnicity pay reporting and gender pay gap reporting.

The gender bonus gap

The gender bonus gap relates to the difference between the average bonus paid to men (for the 12 months prior to 5 April for a given year) compared with the average bonus paid to women.

saw their bonus gaps decrease by more than 2% between 2019 and 2020


saw their bonus gaps increase


saw little or no difference in their bonus gaps

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