All-clear for EOC equal pay code of practice

The Equal Opportunities Commission’s new revised Code of
Practice on Equal Pay has received Parliamentary approval and will come into
force on 1 December 2003.

The code explains employers’ obligations on equal pay and
has been revised to take account of new law and recent equal pay case
decisions.

It provides practical guidance on how to ensure pay is
determined without sex discrimination.

Julie Mellor, chair of the Equal Opportunities Commission
(EOC), said, "It’s down to employers now to check that their pay system is
fair and that they are complying with the Equal Pay Act. The revised Code of
Practice will help them make sure that they are rewarding competence and
performance. This is in the best interests not only of their staff but also of
their investors."

The code is admissible in evidence in any proceedings under
the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 or the Equal Pay Act 1970. This means that,
while the Code is not binding, an Employment Tribunal may take into account an
employer’s failure to act on its provisions.

New material contained in the revised code includes:

● information on equal pay for pregnant women and
women on maternity leave

● grievance procedures

● the equal pay questionnaire

● equal pay reviews.

It is available on the EOC website.

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