Equal pay audits a low priority for UK business

Only a fifth of employers have carried out equal pay audits in the past five
years, according to research published today.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) poll of 500 HR
professionals finds that most pay audits have been completed in the past two

It shows that seven out of 10 completed pay assessments revealed no
significant difference between average male and female earnings.

The survey also reveals a gender pay gap is most likely at middle and senior
management levels rather than for lower grades.

And if women do earn more than men, it is likely to be at non-management

Charles Cotton, reward and employment conditions adviser at the CIPD, is
surprised more organisations have not undertaken equal pay audits.

"With all the publicity I would have thought that more companies would
have done so, especially in the public sector as the Government is set to make
equal pay audits a requirement.

"But the trend is that more and more firms are doing so and I hope this

The Reward Management Survey 2003 also finds that two-thirds of
organisations have adopted a strategic approach to reward.

Seven in 10 private sector companies have a reward strategy, compared to 46
per cent in the public sector. Three-quarters of companies believe they have an
effective reward strategy.

And voluntary sector organisations are more likely to have completed a pay
audit than those in the private or public sector.


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