[amazon asin=1849466394&template=image&title=-&image=-]After being very fortunate to have worked with some lead experts in equality and diversity, it made me more curious about what “Equality” really meant in 2015. I think its fair to say we all recognize sex discrimination legislation being a strong force in the media for over 40 years; recently the issue of equal pay between men and women continues to rumble on. The legislation gives the right for men and women to be paid the same for the same or equivalent work.
It surprise me that their are still many companies that are unaware that since 1st October 2010 it has been unlawful to prevent employees from discussing their pay. Employees cannot suffer a detriment as a result of them discussing their pay with others and companies cannot include restrictions of such in contracts of employment. The Government consultation on equal pay audits in 2014 showed there continues to be a gender gap in pay between men and women in the same or equivalent roles. It was reported male employees are being paid around 10% more than female employees; it is however recognized some of the discrepancies are due to factors other than discrimination.
From 1st October last year new rules for equal pay audits apply where the employment tribunal has the power to order an equal pay audit where claims are brought on or after this date and are lost. There are only a few situations where an employment tribunal would not be able to order such an audit. Examples of claims which may lead to the employment tribunal ordering an equal pay audit include holiday pay, sick pay, disputes arising from contractual terms. Tribunals will determine the detail and timings of the equal pay audit, once completed the company is required to publish the results on its website and inform the employees covered by the audit and any trade union. Unreasonable failure to comply with the obligations could lead to a financial penalty of up £5000 for each unreasonable failure. Strangely there appears to be [amazon text=Amazon][amazon asin=1849466394&template=image&title=-&image=-]no financial penalty for breaching the requirement to publish the results of the audit and for not implementing the results of the audit.
For more details and expert opinions on Equality and what expected from employers check out these sites, it does seem to be a topic that is not in the main focus of employers:
Indigo You – Diversity and Inclusion – Clive Taylor is the up to date consultant on the topic, and has been employed with some of the UK biggest employers. Clive and Associates have can support your organisation in changing cultures and environments to make them more inclusive, where everyone finds it a great place to work which in turn benefits your clients and your organisation.
The University of Edinburgh – The university have a whole section of the website cover the topic and it does give you some pointers to get you started.
Equality and Human Right Commision – Parliament gave the Commission the mandate to challenge discrimination, and to protect and promote human rights.
UK Government – There are a number of government case studies and new articles here.
Equality Advisory and Support Services – If you feel you need to understand if your rights have been discriminated against you sex, colour or anything else this is where to get advice.