More organisations are conducting equal pay audits than ever before.
According to the CIPD’s reward survey, more employers (29 per cent)
undertook an audit in 2003 than did in the preceding five years and almost half
(48 per cent) plan to conduct a pay audit in 2004.
The survey also showed that a significant proportion of pay audits are not
only focusing on gender, but are also covering age and race.
CIPD assistant director general, Duncan Brown, attributes the step-change to
increased awareness of issues surrounding equal pay and the pressures of
impending government action on race and discrimination.
"The issue of equal pay is now being investigated rather than being
brushed under the carpet," he said.
He added that HR departments should play a key role in changing the culture
of organisations, in terms of getting them to understand why different social
groups should be employed and in seeing older employees as more of an asset.
He said it was important to drive this message home as the survey revealed
that just under a fifth (17 per cent) of organisations plan to raise their
retirement age over the next two years.