MPs criticise Discrimination Law Review for failing to address gender pay gap

MPs have slammed the government’s Discrimination Law Review for failing to adequately address pitfalls in diversity law and provide no real solution to the gender pay gap.

The Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Committee has today published Jobs for the Girls: The effect of occupational segregation on the gender pay gap, which urges the government to do more to fight the pay gap.

A key recommendation of the MPs’ report, according to a statement on the committee’s website, said: “The government has not adequately addressed the current failings in legislation and so the report recommends the government look again at the issues of hypothetical comparators, representative actions, time limits and other proposals not taken up in the Discrimination Law Review’s findings.

The Discrimination Law Review was launched in February 2005 to create a clearer and more streamlined equality legislation framework.

In June 2007 it published the Single Equality Bill which outlined the Discrimination Law Review’s proposals to simplify, modernise, and increase the effectiveness of discrimination law.

But lawyers at the time warned the government was “scratching its head” over what to do with responses to the consultation, and many warned the review did not clarify the legislative arena as hoped.

Reaction to the report

Business group CBI and the TUC backed the report for calling for more government funding to eliminate the gender pay gap.

Susan Anderson, CBI director of HR policy, said: “We are pleased the report recognises the ineffectiveness of mandatory equal pay audits, which are cumbersome, labour- and resource-intensive, and do not address the underlying causes of the gap.

“However, we are concerned that it endorses representative actions, which will not tackle the real problems of equal pay.”

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