The Government must set employers targets to encourage them to carry out
equal pay audits if the pay gap between men and women is to be closed.
This was the message from Equal Opportunities Commission chair Julie Mellor,
addressing delegates at a Labour Party Conference fringe meeting last week. She
said that the only way to ensure progress is made on equal pay is by setting
organisations specific goals, against which progress can be measured.
Mellor challenged the Government to set a target for the next three years to
measure the percentage of employers which have carried out a pay review.
She warned that if no progress was made by then, the EOC would renew
pressure on the Government to introduce legislation requiring employers to
carry out a pay review.
Mellor said, ‘The Government has said it is committed to tackling unequal
pay but that it favours a voluntary approach to pay reviews. It has often used
targets to help it lever in change – yardsticks by which it wants to be judged.
We are therefore calling on ministers to introduce targets on pay reviews that
will give us all something tangible to work towards.
"If after three years they cannot demonstrate real progress, they will
come under renewed pressure to introduce legislation requiring employers to
carry out a pay review."
The challenge follows EOC research which reveals that while 93 per cent of
employers are confident their pay systems are fair, only 35 per cent have
analysed pay by gender.
Earlier this year, the Equal Pay Task Force recommended compulsory pay
By Lisa Bratby