A stern warning has been sent to the private sector by law firm Pannone LLP to prepare itself for the equality act which comes into force in October. With the abolition of the pay secrecy act, Pannone LLP believes that fresh set of claim of discrimination will occur .

The Act will render such clauses unenforceable, and pay disclosure will be permissible if it is to establish pay discrimination. David Carmichael, partner at Manchester law firm Pannone claims this will lead to a rise of claims from so called “equal pay specialist”, leading to a wave of equal pay claims in the private sector.

The public sector has paid out millions in equal pay tribunals, over the past 5 years. David Carmichael claims specialist firms have every reason to turn their attention to the private sector.

“Recent years have seen these ‘equal pay firms’ target the public sector – urging everyone from dinner ladies to teaching assistants – to make pay discrimination claims. These firms have now pretty much exhausted the public sector and the market has reached saturation point.”

“However, the Equality Act and abolition of pay secrecy clauses will now pave the way for these firms to target big businesses in the private sector, many of which may be vulnerable to equal pay claims.”