Take the opportunity to influence equal pay debate

The
Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) wants employers, lawyers and unions around
the country to have their say in the consultation on the revised Code of
Practice on Equal Pay.

The
Code of Practice was originally issued in 1997 and its provisions can be taken
into account in equal pay tribunal cases. The EOC updated it in response to a
recommendation of its own Equal Pay Taskforce and demand from employers.

EOC
chairwoman Julie Mellor said: "Despite 30 years of equal pay law, women
are still earning, on average, 19 per cent less per hour than men, and a
shocking 40 per cent less if they work part-time. The Code of Practice provides
practical guidance for employers on how to make sure their pay system is free
of bias.

"Doing
a pay review will uncover any hidden discrimination in your pay systems,"
she said. "It will demonstrate commitment to equality and help prevent
expensive and time-consuming equal pay claims that can damage your reputation.
And this will help you attract and retain the best people for your business and
cut your recruitment costs.

"We
have updated the code to make it easier to understand and to incorporate our
Equal Pay Kit to help you do a pay review. Now we need to know whether it meets
your needs. This is an important tool for tackling unequal pay, so please help
us get it right."

The
consultation ends 21 February 2003.

To
take part visit www.eoc.org.uk

By Quentin Reade

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