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Mind the (pay) gap…

23 June 2014

Equal pay is back in the headlines with the publication of the draft Equality Act 2010 (Equal Pay Audits) Regulations 2014. Due to come into force in October, the regulations will oblige tribunals to order employers who have been found in breach of equal pay law under the Equality Act to carry out audits.

An audit would require the publication of gender pay information, the differences in pay between men and women and the reasons for those differences. It would also require the reasons for any potential equal pay breach identified by the audit and set out the plan to avoid such breaches.

Whilst it’s unlikely many employers would relish the idea of a mandatory audit, a voluntary audit can bring certainty and may uncover a few surprises. Few employers think they are discriminating in terms of pay but with figures from the Office for National Statistics showing women earning, on average, £5,000 less than men, it appears that the pay gap still exists.

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