It seems absurd that 37 years after the Equal Pay Act was born, there is still a significant divide between men and women (‘Employer-friendly pay audits are vital to achieve equal pay’, Personnel Today, 18 September). But I would argue that most of the discrimination is completely unintentional. In large organisations, responsibility for pay is spread across so many different levels of management that it is hard to monitor consistency.
While David Cameron’s pledge to reduce the gender pay gap is a step in the right direction, there is no excuse for letting the problem reach the tribunal stage. Legal pay disputes are costly, and can ruin corporate reputations. Businesses need to nip any issues in the bud by identifying the potential problems, fixing them, and stopping them from happening again.
Until the government imposes mandatory equal pay audits, we will never be free of unintentional discrimination. In the meantime, the new Equality and Human Rights Commission needs to continue fighting for equality to keep these issues in the public eye.
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