The Equality and Human Rights Commission and the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) today urged small and medium size businesses to examine their pay systems to ensure they comply with equal pay laws.

As part of the Commission’s drive to increase transparency around pay in the workplace, the Commission and the BCC have jointly published a quick and easy guide to help employers do this.

Claims are made that using this guidance would be a good start in closing the gap creating fair and transparent pay system, the process is relatively quick and easy for small business and should take no longer than four hours.

Forty years since the Equal Pay Act, women who work full time are still paid on average 16.4 % less per hour than men. This gap is wider in the private sector than in the public, at 21.6 % compared to 14.6 %.
Dr Jean Irvine, Commissioner at the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said:
“Employers need pay systems that are both transparent and fair. While transparency is not enough in itself to reduce the pay gap between men and women, it does provide clarity; it is difficult, if not impossible, to resolve a problem that cannot be seen.

“What we ask of small and medium size employers is not difficult; it takes minimal time and effort but can offer a real return. Linking equal work to equal pay will see employees rewarded fairly for the work they do. Employees will enjoy the benefits of working for a company which actively promotes equality while employers will protect themselves from a potentially costly and time consuming equal pay claim.”