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Coronavirus Pauses U.K. Gender Pay Gap Reporting Ahead of April Deadline

The government has suspended data collection just as the economic fallout from Covid-19 hits women hard. 

A pedestrian wearing a protective face mask walks in London on March 27. 

A pedestrian wearing a protective face mask walks in London on March 27. 

Photographer: Hollie Adams/Bloomberg

The annual April scramble among U.K. companies to report their gender pay gap to the government is off this year, another casualty of the coronavirus just as its economic fallout makes labor market equality especially vital.

Authorities dropped the requirement last week due to the “unprecedented uncertainty and pressure” faced by companies struggling to cope with lockdown measures. More than 4,000 firms published their results ahead of the usual April 5 cut off date, but that still accounts for less than half the figure that has historically reported. It’s difficult to draw any conclusions from the data because organizations with less to hide may file earlier.