Firms ignoring gender pay gap

employers do not believe they have an equal pay problem, according to CIPD

Its latest membership survey on salaries and rewards shows that 61 per cent
of respondents do not perceive an equal pay problem, and more than half do not carry
out pay auditing.

The research shows that only 36 per cent of organisations believe they have
an equal pay problem, and only 38 per cent carry out equal pay audits.

Few organisations have taken action to rectify differences in male and
female earnings. Of the respondents that reported their organisations had a pay
problem, only 34 per cent say they have taken any action to rectify the
situation, claims the research. Less than a quarter of the respondents use the
Equal Opportunity Commission’s Equal Pay Code.

Dianah Worman, adviser on equal opportunities at the CIPD, said, "This
survey tells us there is a real lack of awareness around equal pay and little
understanding of the EOC’s code of practice."

In those rare instances where employers have taken action, union and
employee pressure has been the main driver of change. The threat of legal
action is reported by only 16 per cent of respondents.

Worman said, "Frustration over the slow progress in closing the pay gap
is now leading to calls for compulsory action. While the CIPD is not in favour
of this approach, action on equal pay should be taken for sound business

"The lack of attention to this issue undermines an organisation’s
ability to realise the full potential of all its employees, which in turn can
only have a negative impact on communication, culture and performance."

The survey included 1,900 responses from HR practitioners in the public and
private sectors.

Personnel Today has made a stand on the equal pay issue. It agrees with the
Equal Pay Task Force that mandatory equal pay audits are essential to reducing
the 18 per cent gender gap.

By Mike Broad

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