Gender Pay Giving HR Headaches

1st April 2011

The gender pay audit is only one thorny part of the Equal Pay Act, but it may be the most controversial.

As it stands now, The Act makes it possible for the government to demand all business organisations that employ more than 250 workers to account for their gender pay gap.

By April 2011, all public bodies that have more than 150 recruits will have to report as well. This includes reporting other equality information, such as the number of Asian, black and other ethnic on the job.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is in the progress of developing metrics for these reports over the summer. Every year thereafter, the commission will in turn monitor the private sector.

The HR administrator for the British Transport Police (BTP) says, “Although it will be a massive headache, employers should be tackling this.”

“BTP is implementing a plan to ensure the all our police staffs have fair job contracts according to the weight of the career roles they undertake. Employers will need to consider not only gender, in my view."

However, Nicola Walker, CBI’s senior policy adviser insists gender pay reporting requirements are “unnecessary.”

Walker went on to say, "The gender pay gap can be misinterpreted. It does not compare men and women doing the same job; it reflects the fact that fewer women have higher-paid jobs across the labour market. Average pay gap statistics are misleading.”

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