A change in the law is needed to force employers to review their pay systems to ensure they don’t discriminate against women according to the Equal Opportunities Commission.
The EOC made the recommendation following the publication of Just Pay: Making Work Pay for Women, an action plan developed by the commission’s Equal Pay Task Force.
Julie Mellor, chair of the EOC, commented, “The UK has the worst record in Europe on equal pay. Many employers don’t even realise that their pay system could be biased against women but they have a crucial part to play in reducing the pay gap. We set up the Equal Pay Task Force to find out what needs to be done to root out pay discrimination.”
“To get equality into the pay packet we need the commitment of all key players – employers, the unions and the Government.”
But the CBI said requiring employers to carry out regular pay audits would not have a significant impact and would impose an excessive administrative burden.
Susan Anderson, director of human resources for the CBI, commented, “Statutory pay auditing would have little impact and would be a real burden. Gathering, analysing and understanding the data would be slow and complex.”
By Ben Willmott