Employers will pay price for ignoring law

More than 80 per cent of employers have no defence against equal pay claims,
according to a survey by DLA MCG Consulting.

A study of more than 200 organisations shows 83 per cent are not confident
they pay women fairly and only a minority have managers trained in equal pay

The results follow the recent passing of the Employment Act 2002, which will
usher in equal pay questionnaires to encourage claims by helping staff to
challenge employers.

The Government is also amending the Equal Pay Act 1970 to make it easier to
bring multiple claims, and has streamlined the way equal pay claims are dealt
with at employment tribunals.

If employees can establish a case, the burden of proof will be on the
employer to disprove discrimination. The survey shows most employers will be
unable to do this.

"By looking at pay systems and taking action to eliminate pay
discrimination, employers can be more confident about reducing the risk of
equal pay claims," said chair of the Equal Opportunities Commission Julie

Birmingham City Council is spending an estimated £15m on a job evaluation
and regrading of its 35,000 workers.

The council’s chief personnel officer Andy Albon, said: "It will make
sure we have a more equitable remuneration structure, enabling us to muster a
defence against claims."

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