Italian salary scandal shows need for HR to take charge

It’s no wonder the Italian population were upset to discover the government had published the salary of 38 million citizens online (‘Italy rocked by income scandal as pay details of every citizen appear online’,, 1 May).

A salary is one of the most private things in people’s lives – it’s understandable why people don’t talk about it as it often says a lot about your status in a company. But ongoing revelations of unequal pay in all sectors demonstrate that the issue needs to be addressed.

Companies should have a clear process to monitor any potential problems. If people talk more about the issue, it might drive organisations to ensure there is an infrastructure in place to ensure everyone is paid equally.

Most pay gaps are largely unintentional, as it’s often down to a lack of process and structure. But it’s the responsibility of HR and finance to ensure this doesn’t happen. While unequal salaries might simply result in a disgruntled employee, the worst cases see employers ending up in court. Avoiding this should be something that’s built in to the HR function.

Tim Medcalf, product strategy manager, NorthgateArinso

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