CBI rejects calls of mandatory equal pay audits

The CBI has dismissed renewed calls by the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) for mandatory equal pay audits

Susan Anderson, CBI director of HR policy, said: “Mandatory equal pay audits are not the answer to tackling the gender pay gap. The EOC’s audits are cumbersome, labour and resource-intensive and it admits as much with its suggestion of a preliminary ‘diagnostic check’ to determine whether a full audit is required.”

Anderson said pay reviews do not address the underlying causes of the gender pay gap. She insisted that employers are already tackling those causes through flexible working and by encouraging young women into better paid careers traditionally dominated by men.

The government has set the private sector a target of 45% of companies carrying out pay audits by 2008 and CBI figures indicate this will be met.

CBI research in 2004 revealed 19% of all firms had carried out a review, rising to 25% in 2005. Among companies with 5,000 employees the proportion was 40% with another 17% planning to conduct a review.

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