Gender pay gap report unveils long-awaited recommendations

The Women and Work Commission will finally unveil its long-awaited recommendations on closing the gender pay gap alongside Tony Blair and Gordon Brown at Downing Street later today.

According to a copy of the report seen by Personnel Today, the commission has called for the appointment of “equality representatives” at all medium and large employers to police levels of pay.

However, it has rejected proposals pushed by trade unions and the Equal Opportunities Commission for mandatory pay audits.

One controversial proposal outlined in the report is the introduction of class actions. Although the report did not call outright for such litigation to go ahead – whereby a single individual can represent a whole series of people in court for a test case against an employer, as happens in the US – it said that the issue “should be looked at further”.

The report, originally scheduled for publication before Christmas, was delayed by two months because of wrangling among members of the Commission, which is headed up by Baroness Prosser.

Whitehall sources said the Downing Street launch of the report signals the government’s intention to carry out its recommendations, unlike those of other papers such as the Tomlinson report on education reform.

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