The Government unveiled its weapons to cut the gender pay gap last week, butthere are doubts over whether they will reduce the 18 per cent divide. The proposals include the right for women to know what male colleagues atthe same level are earning and the requirement for firms to include informationon employment and pay diversity in annual reports. The measures will be voluntary, but the Kingsmill review into equal paywarns employers that if they ignore the measures then legislation could follow.Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt unveiled the measures inresponse to findings from Denise Kingsmill, who the Government appointed toexamine women’s pay and employment. Hewitt also outlined plans to encourageorganisations to conduct equal pay audits. Nick Page, rewards adviser for the CIPD, urged employers to adopt atransparent approach to equal pay, or he said the Government could bring incompulsory legislation on pay audits. “We support the voluntary approach to equal pay audits because we feelit will be the most successful at this stage. But if there is no significantcommitment by employers to achieving equal pay in the next two to three years,the Government could revisit the issue and consider a legislativeapproach.” HR professionals doubt whether the measures will meet the Government’starget of eliminating the gender pay gap by the end of decade. Francesca Okosi, HR director at Brent Council, said, “They will go someway to helping reduce the gap, but will not significantly reduce it.” Frances Wright, HR director at psychometric test provider SHL, agrees.”Diversity reporting in annual reports would help as it puts everythingupfront so what is happening can be seen,” she said. “It is not theanswer to reducing equal pay, but it will certainly help bring large organisationsin line as they will not want to risk their reputations.” By Paul Nelson What HR must doEqualpay questionnaires:HR teams will prepare questionnaires including sections on pay,position, experience, time spent at company and qualifications, that staff canuse to benchmark their salaries if they believe they are being unfairly paid.Diversity reporting:Organisations will be expected to give percentages of womenemployed, recruited, retained, and promoted in the annual report.The reportwill also include diversity trend analysis.Equal pay audits:The aim is to determine the existence and extent of equal payproblems. It uses the pay system to identify men and women in similar roles andanalyse their pay for discrepancies. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Will equal pay plans deliver?On 11 Dec 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.