Employers attack ‘last-minute’ equal pay rules

The Government has been
criticised for failing to give employers enough time to prepare for the new
equal pay questionnaires.

The DTI will publish final guidance on the questionnaires this
week, only days before they are introduced as part of the Employment Act on 6
April.

The questionnaires will give staff the right to request pay
information on a comparable worker of the opposite sex. They are voluntary, but
employers who refuse requests are likely to be penalised if taken to an
employment tribunal.

Sue Kavanagh, HR director at Carlson Wagon Lit Travel, said the
guidance is far too late.

"Most new legislation is discussed at board level way in
advance, to ensure policies are in place and we can give clear advice to
managers. It would have been nice to be in that position with the equal pay
questionnaires," she said.

Peter Martin, director of employment policy at the Engineering
Employers’ Federation, is unhappy over the timing of the guidance, and
concerned about its possible content.

"We still don’t know if our concerns have been addressed.
I’m concerned guidance will only be available at the very last moment. This is
not good regulation."

www.womenandequalityunit.gov.uk

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