According to The State of HRSurvey by law firm Speechly Bircham and King’s College London, although 84% of employers stated there was no material gender pay inequality in their organisations, two-thirds do not have structures in place to assess this.
The survey also found the majority of employers are unprepared for the removal of the default retirement age (DRA), as 78% of respondents have a retirement age of 65, while a further 5% operate an alternative compulsory retirement age.
Only a third of respondents thought the removal of the DRA was a major issue for their HR function.
The survey found over 50% of respondents reported an increase in staff working hours, while pay rises and bonuses continue to be withheld.
Longer working hours were found to have a significant correlation with increased absence, sickness, stress-related problems and increased employee grievances.
Richard Martin, partner and head of employment at Speechly Bircham, said: “Only a small percentage of businesses have any measures in place to deal with pay inequality despite the Equality Act looming.
“Perhaps most worrying is what can be read between the lines of the survey about employee wellbeing and engagement. At a time when employers should be focusing on re-engaging with staff and repairing the damage caused by the recession, staff are instead being made to work ever harder, without reward.
“An economic recovery built on working reduced workforces harder and harder is clearly not sustainable and could lead to major problems for employers, particularly in the public sector.