More than two-thirds of employers in Britain have yet to publish their latest gender pay gap figures – with around a fortnight to go until the deadlines.
Only 2,900 of an expected 10,000 organisations have reported their figures so far.
Among those yet to publish are most local authorities, NHS trusts and universities, the majority of high street supermarkets and almost all police forces, trade unions and airlines.
Those who have already reported include the majority of high street banks and all the main government departments.
Public-sector employers with at least 250 employees must declare their gender pay gap by March 30, while the deadline for private and voluntary sector employers is April 4.
Penalties for missing the deadline include a court order and a possible unlimited fine.
The gender pay gap is the difference between the median average hourly wage of men and women working in the same organisation.
It is not the same as equal pay, where firms are required by law to pay men and women doing the same job the same salary.
So far, the new figures show:
– Asda has reduced its gender pay gap year-on-year from 8.9% to 7.6%, while Aldi has reported a rise from 4.8% to 7.1%. The gap for employees at Tesco stores has risen slightly from 8.4% to 8.5%.
– The BBC has the smallest gender pay gap among UK broadcasters – 7.6%, down from 9.3%. Channel 4 has the largest at 23.3%, down from 24.2%. ITV’s figure has fallen slightly from 11.9% to 11.0%, while ITN’s figure is almost unchanged, from 18.2% to 18.1%.
– Most government departments have reduced their gender pay gap, although it has increased at the Treasury and the departments for International Trade, International Development, Exiting the EU and Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS). The largest gap is at the DCMS (22.9%), the smallest at the Department for Education (5.6%) and there is no gap at all at the Department for Work and Pensions.
– Among those universities to have published their new figures, the largest gender pay gaps are at Hull (27.8%), Liverpool Hope (25.4%) and Liverpool John Moores (21.9%).
The median gender pay gap for all workers in the UK is 17.9%, according to the Office for National Statistics.
This is the second year organisations are required by law to report their gender pay gap.
Employers must publish data based on a snapshot of their workforce on March 31 2018 (public sector) or April 5 2018 (private and voluntary).
Of the 1,803 organisations to have published a comparable gender pay gap for both this year and last year, 770 (42.7%) have reported an increase, 84 (4.7%) no change and 949 (52.6%) a decrease.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), which enforces the gender pay gap legislation, said 94% of organisations had published their data by the required deadline last year.
Following enforcement action by the EHRC against employers that were believed to be in breach of the rules, this had risen to 100% by August.