The T&G union is to carry out equal pay audits at
thousands of firms across the country in a bid to close the 18% pay gap between
men and women.
It will target thousands of employers in industries ranging
from retail to food with the aim of boosting women’s wages over the next year.
Deputy General Secretary Margaret Prosser said the union
decided to act in the absence of any legislation forcing firms to make sure
they are not discriminating against women.
T&G representatives will be trained how to conduct a pay
audit and how to pursue any claims for equal pay.
A union spokesman said it is estimated women earn £250,000
less than men over the course of their working lives simply through inequalities
in basic pay.
Employers which are found to be paying lower rates of pay to
women will risk being taken to employment tribunals.
By Ben Willmott