The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has called on the government to publicise the business case for equal pay reviews.
The Equal Pay and Flexible Working Bill receives its second reading in the House of Lords today (23 January). The Bill would force employers found guilty of pay discrimination to carry out an equal pay audit, and publicise the results.
However, according to the CIPD, too few businesses see the value of such reviews.
"There are clear business benefits to conducting equal pay reviews, but there is a lack of understanding among employers as to what those benefits are," said Charles Cotton, reward adviser at the CIPD.
"Employees who feel unfairly treated are unlikely to be engaged and motivated to help the business succeed. Conversely, well-informed, fairly treated employees are more likely to be powerful advocates and motivated contributors to the future success of their companies," he added.
Despite the benefits, a quarter of private sector firms believe equal pay audits are 'unnecessary', according to research by Personnel Today's sister publication Industrial Relations Services.
Cotton said pay audits were even more important in the difficult economic climate, because they link employee contribution to pay and ensure employers do not waste limited financial resources.