Equality Act will be implemented in October but government refuses to outline equal pay intentions

The coalition government has pledged to implement the Equality Act in October, but has refused to outline its intentions for gender pay gap reporting.

Home secretary Theresa May said the Equality Act, passed in April, will make it easier for firms to comply with anti-discrimination rules, the BBC has reported.

But the government has stopped short of forcing employers to reveal how much they pay men compared with women, as had been planned by the Labour government.

The Conservatives previously told Personnel Today they would only support the forcing of firms to report their pay gaps if they were found to be discriminating at an employment tribunal.

A Government Equalities Office spokesperson said: “We are thinking about what our next steps on equal pay should be and will make an announcement in due course.”

May insisted the Act demonstrates the coalition government’s commitment to equality.

“By making the law easier to understand, the Equality Act will help businesses treat staff fairly and meet the needs of a diverse customer base,” she said.

“The law will be easier to understand and better able to protect people from discrimination.

“A successful economy needs the full participation of all its citizens and we are committed to implementing the Act in the best way for business.”

Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, welcomed the speed with which the government had moved to implement the legislation.

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