Thousands of UK employers are still failing to close the gender pay gap, new analysis has found.
A leading gender equality charity said it's important the Government doesn’t “drop the ball” on the issue.
The coronavirus pandemic means it is not a legal requirement this year for large employers to disclose their gender pay gap for 2019/20.
But around half of them - 5,555 organisations - have done so.
The pay gap
The gender pay gap does not look at whether men and women are paid the same for equal work. Instead, it measures the difference between the average wages of men and women.
More than four-fifths (81%) of employers who had submitted reports by June 1 had a pay gap in favour of men, analysis by JPIMedia shows.
According to the data, 12% of employers had a pay gap in favour of women, while 7% had no gap.
The average pay gap of all reporting companies in 2019/20 was 12.9% in favour of men.
The incomplete nature of this year’s data makes comparisons with the previous year difficult. But in 2018/19, 77 per cent of large employers reported paying men more.
Women in the workplace
Gemma Rosenblatt Head of Policy and Campaigns at the Fawcett Society said it’s vital the gender pay gap data continues to be published.
Ms Rosenblatt said: "The picture from this incomplete data isn't good, with more employers reporting that men were paid more than women than last year.
"It shows why it is important that the Government doesn't drop the ball on the gender pay gap. The coronavirus pandemic has hit women's incomes hard, so it's more important than ever that this data is published."
Baroness Berridge, Minister for Women, added: ”Tackling the underlying issues that hold women back in the workplace will be important as we look to recover from this crisis.
“We recognise the unprecedented pressure and uncertainty that is currently facing employers, which is why we have taken the decision to suspend the enforcement of gender pay gap reporting this year.”
The UK Government’s Equalities Office said employers are still able to report their gender pay gap data should they wish to.
Since 2017, any organisation with 250 employees or more has been obliged to report their gender pay gap.
This analysis has been done by using the organisations’ median hourly pay gap. This shows the difference in pay between the earnings of the middle ranking man and woman.