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Equal pay monitoring
Within the Equality Act 2010, there is a power for the Government to require businesses with 250 or more employees to report to them on any gender pay gap issue which they may or may not have.
The Government set up a voluntary reporting system called, Think, Act, Report. This system allowed employers to identify any pay gap issues, address them and to report back to Government. Whilst over 200 firms joined this initiative, only four published the details, two of which had different pay grades for their employees.
In response to this poor uptake, the Liberal Democrats have declared that if they succeed at the next general election, they would rely upon the power under the Equality Act 2010 to force employers to publish information on gender pay gaps.
It is possible that the reason behind few employers using this framework is due to the fact that they could open themselves up to equal pay claims from their employees, as well as sex discrimination. The result of which can be costly, it will also damage the reputation of any business. From 1 October 2014, tribunals will be able to order employers in breach of equal pay law, to conduct equal pay audits. Failure to do so will carry a £5,000 fine.
The message for employers is to ensure that there is no gender pay gap and if there are any discrepancies of pay between employees, that these can be justified.
For more information please contact our employment team at Broadwalk House, Southernhay West, Exeter EX1 1UA. Call 01392 207020 or email email@example.com.