Almost a year on from the first round of gender pay gap reporting for UK businesses, errors, false reporting and an outright failure to report mean the picture is still very much blurred. 

Accurate reporting is key to achieving a genuine picture of how the UK is succeeding in tackling the gender pay gap. Although still limited to private organisations with over 250 employees, smaller organisations are not prevented from reporting and many have.

However, as the new round of reporting must be submitted within the next month or so, old or inaccurate data already appears to be rife, according to the Equalities Office. In order to combat this, and to gather the data from the 30+ companies who still haven't reported almost a year late, the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) sent enforcement notices to 1,456 companies last year, but only pursued action against 100 employers, which is now completed. According to the EHRC, that doesn't mean action might not be taken in future. 

There was much talk last year about what sanctions the EHRC could impose, if any. Unlimited fines and convictions were threatened, but to date, no such fines or convictions have been realised. Far from this being reassuring to employers who misreport - intentionally or otherwise - the risk of sanctions remains and at some point examples will surely be made.

The deadlines for reporting 2018 data are 30 March for public bodies and 4 April for private companies.