Labour Research September 2009

Equality news

EHRC consults on pay gap in private sector

Last month, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) announced that it was consulting on how private and voluntary sector employers with at least 250 staff can measure and report on their gender pay gap.

It also aims to carry out a survey to find out how many of these employers already assess their salary data in terms of equality.

The EHRC notes that women working full-time still earn 17.1% less an hour on average than men. It adds that: “The difference in some sectors, such as finance, are much wider and the majority of organisations are not aware of their own gender pay gap.”

Although public sector bodies are not required to carry out equal pay audits, they do have a duty to remove discrimination from their pay systems, effectively requiring some form of gender pay analysis.

While the aim is to get private and voluntary sector employers reporting on a voluntary basis, the EHRC points out that the Equality Bill currently going through parliament contains a reserve power allowing a future secretary of state to introduce mandatory reporting if progress has not been made on a voluntary basis by 2013.

Andrea Murray, acting group director of strategy, said: “In particular, we want to hear from employers who have been monitoring their gender pay gap and have made moves to address it.”