Government aims to cut gender pay gap through speedier tribunals

The Government has released proposals today to cut the 18
per cent gender pay gap. In a new consultation document, called Towards Equal
Pay for Women, there are proposals to cut red tape and speed up equal pay
hearings.  

Employment Minister Tessa Jowell said: “Speedier and simpler
equal pay tribunals are vital if we are to achieve equality for women. Even
without any breaks for children, a mid-skilled woman will still earn £240,000
less than a man over her working life.”

The proposals include:

  • shortening
    and simplifying the rules on how tribunals deal with equal pay cases
  • enabling
    tribunals to call in an assessor to give expert advice
  • simplifying
    the claims procedures where a group of women have essentially the same
    case
  • and
    removing a loophole which allows tribunals to dismiss a claim before it
    has been properly investigated.

Last year, nearly 2,500 equal pay complaints were made to
employment tribunals but it can take years for applicants to get a result.

The consultation period runs until 19 February 2001.

www.dfee.gov.uk/consultations/equalpay

By Mike Broad

 

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